More than 200 attendees gathered virtually and in person for the two-day 2022 Delmarva Soil Summit in Salisbury, Md.
Addressing the theme Groundwork for the Future were keynote speakers Ray Archuleta, farmer and Understanding Ag founder; Jimmy Emmons, Oklahoma regenerative farmer; and Erin Martin, gerontologist. Each highlighted the importance of biomimicry, and the connection between soil health and human health.
Soil scholars and farmers presented the latest in cover crop management, soil health and biology, carbon sequestration, challenges, successes and lessons learned. Breakout sessions and a farmer-led discussion panel provided information for farmers at every scale and production type.
“The biggest thing we’re finding, in years like 2022 and looking ahead, soil health is going to be able to help us tremendously with our bottom line,” said Jay Baxter, a speaker and farmer from Georgetown. A key takeaway, Baxter said, is the ability to network with other farmers, learn how to make his operation more sustainable and keep the living soil regenerating.
“The depletion of mineral content in our soil directly correlates with an increase in chronic conditions,” said Martin. She elaborated by saying that giving people access to local, regenerative fruits and vegetables can improve their quality of life in a matter of days and weeks.
Delmarva Soil Summit partners include Future Harvest, Million Acre Challenge, Sussex Conservation District and University of Maryland Extension. Sponsors include the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Prince George’s Soil Conservation District, Delaware Department of Agriculture, MidAtlantic Farm Credit, Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and Blackwater Preservation LLC.
Tickets included access to recorded content for one full year and are still available. For more information, go to delmarvasoilsummit.com. The biennial event has grown significantly since its inception in 2018, and the next DSS event will be held in early 2024.