Shelby FFA Hosts Leadership Seminar

By Janet Kehres

The Shelby FFA chapter held a leadership night recently with eight schools in attendance. The schools that attended were: Clearfork, Upper Sandusky, Riverdale, Willard, Plymouth, Crestview, Colonel Crawford and Shelby.

Two state FFA officers were guest speakers that talked about how to become better leaders and make a lasting impact in our community by teaching the students to amplify their impact which is also this year’s National FFA theme. After the program members had the opportunity to meet students from other FFA chapters by playing dodgeball, euchre, and cornhole. A taco bar was set up for refreshments.

Macie Bricker stated “It gave our chapter a great opportunity to show off our amazing facilities which left many chapters speechless as well as exchanging ideas between ag programs.

Name that bird contest

An opportunity for some fun...and to win free gift cards from the Richland County Soil and Water. They are running monthly contests on their website and in January’s contest, contestants identify the bird based on the bird sound. The winner will receive 2-$10 gift cards donated by an area restaurant. Anyone interested may click on the "Name That Bird Contest!" button on the home page of their website, complete the contest form and submit. The website is:

Innovative Assessment Helps Farmers in the Northeast Improve Soil Health

Improving soil health without understanding the soil’s condition is not easy and traditional soil tests, though important management tools, don’t provide information on the physical structure or microbial life living in the soil. That is why a multidisciplinary team at Cornell University created a soil health assessment, which measures physical, chemical and biological indicators as well as pH and nutrient levels in the soil. The soil health assessment received early funding from multiple SARE grants as well as other sources.

The need for the assessment was born out of a survey of Northeastern farmers, many of whom used traditional soil tests but “felt there was something more going on with their soils,” says Bianca Moebius-Clune, director of the soil health division at USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “There were erosion issues, they had weed issues, they had decreasing yields even though they needed to irrigate more, put on more fertilizer, more pesticides. And they really didn’t have good diagnostic tools for all of these issues.”

The Cornell lab currently receives about 2,000 samples per year, and interest in the assessment continues to grow in the Northeast and across the country.

Other subjects available include: Conservation Tillage, Cover Crops, Crop Production, Crop Rotation, Cropping Systems, No-Till, Organic Matter, Soil Analysis, Soil Chemistry, Soil Management, Soil Microbiology, Soil Physics, and Soil Quality/Health .

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