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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Saipan forum to explore opportunities to build soil health

HONOLULU—Farmers, ranchers, researchers, agricultural business operators and conservationists are invited to participate in a forum on cover crops and soil health, hosted by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Guam, Pohnpei, and Saipan.

These local sessions are one of more than 225 forums taking place throughout the country in concert with the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health in Omaha, Nebraska, sponsored by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.


In addition to providing a venue to discuss local cover crop and soil health opportunities, benefits and barriers, the forums in Guam, Pohnpei, and Saipan will feature video clips of four leading cover crop and soil health farmers.


NRCS acting director Christine Clarke said, “The local-level forums will provide NRCS and its conservation partners and stakeholders a platform to more fully organize and enable local soil health efforts at the grassroots level.”


“This is an excellent opportunity for participants to discuss how to build soil health, improve yields, curb erosion, manage pests and build resilience in farming systems in the islands—and to assess opportunities for, or barriers to, the broader adoption of soil health management systems,” she said.

The CNMI forum will be held in the NRCS Saipan field office conference room, Beach Road-DY Bldg., on Feb. 19, 2014, from 8am until about 10am.

Dr. Bob Gavenda, NRCS soil scientist based in Guam, will be leading the forum and can assist the attendees with cover crop and other soil health questions and concerns.

All NRCS partners and the general public are invited to attend but space is limited to approximately 20-25 participants on a first-come, first-served registration. 

To participate in the free local forum, contact the NRCS office at DY Building, Beach Road, South Garapan, Saipan, MP 96950. Contact NRCS at (670) 233-3415, Monday through Friday, from 8am to 5pm. (NRCS)

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