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A Cover Crop Conference for Everyone Feb. 23-25
Ohio Ag Connection - 02/05/2021

The countdown is on to the Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC) Conference.

Organized by OMAFRA, the Ridgetown Business Development Centre, and SOILS AT GUELPH, this virtual conference running Feb. 23-25 will have something for everyone. This year's theme is Making Connections: Soil Health, Cover Crops, and People.

For only $35, attendees get access to 10 live discussions, plus the ability re-watch the sessions for one month following the conference.

The annual business meeting will be held on Feb. 23 and will include updates from Ontario and each of 12 Midwestern states. The MCCC includes Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Ontario. Several MCCC partners will also share updates. This is a great opportunity to learn about cover crop research and programs across the Midwest.

Kickstarting the conference on the evening of Feb. 23, Jenn Doelman, Odette Menard, Greg Hannam, and Philip Shaw will discuss "Finding Common Ground on Cover Crops". Moderated by Lauren Van Ewyck, this panel will home in on where cover crops can meet everyone's shared goals.

Feb. 24 is packed with content when three of the world's leading soil biologists ready to share how science's latest achievements can improve our management of the living soil. And don't miss the Keynote Conversation featuring Roger L. Martin -- the world's #1 management thinker. Roger joins Mel Luymes to lay out the principles for achieving a balance of efficiency with resilience in agriculture; and Crystal Mackay (Loft32), Dan Petker (CCA-ON), Dr. Alfons Weersink (University of Guelph), and Cher Mereweather (Provision Coalition) will further unpack what these principles mean for the agri-food industry.

Feb. 25 rounds out the conference offering system-specific sessions for grain and oilseed producers, vegetable growers, and livestock farmers. Catch Dr. David Hooker, Rodney Rulon, Dr. Julie Grossman, Ried Allaway, Marie Shea, Dr. Melissa Wilson, and more during Thursday's sessions.

And when you've poured your afternoon hot beverage, join in for the Cover Crop Coffee Breaks at 3 p.m. Feb. 24 and 25, to chat with more cover crop experts.

A few of the key conference sponsors include the Ontario Agricultural College, Syngenta, the Grain Farmers of Ontario, the Mosaic Company, and Cribit Seeds. Bringing together this speaker lineup on a high-quality virtual platform would not be possible without their support, organizers noted.

Visit to register and view the full conference lineup, or contact Cameron Ogilvie, SOILS AT GUELPH, at or Loree Elgie, Ridgetown BDC, at

MCCC seeks to significantly increase the amount of continuous living cover on the Upper Midwestern agricultural landscape. From cities to the countryside, this transition in landscape design will produce numerous ecological benefits, including improvements in water, air and soil quality. As the public grows increasingly aware of our collective ecological footprint and its relationship to climate change and water quality, the effort to add living cover to our landscape can generate new sources of renewable energy, mitigate greenhouse gases, reduce the use of agricultural chemicals, and provide novel income streams for rural communities. In an era where the Mississippi River Basin and Great Lakes watershed suffer from serious environmental degradation, this shift in agricultural systems can play a significant and positive role in revitalizing and restoring our lakes, rivers, fields, and communities. To effectively achieve our aim of broad adoption of cover crops by farmers, we will build a vital and effective regional collaboration of agencies, individuals and the general public.

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