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Soil health, regenerative practices, emerging technology, grower insights, and research — The AgEmerge Podcast.
Join our host, Monte Bottens and producer Kim Sheese, as they engage with guests from diverse agriculture interests to discuss experiences, practices and scalable applications for any operation.
Tune in to new episodes every other Tuesday to regenerate your ideas, soil, crops, livestock and livelihood.
AgEmerge Podcast Videos
AgEmerge Podcast 123 with Dianna Bagnall
Dr. Dianna Bagnall is a Research Soil Scientist for the Soil Health Institute. Her current work includes integrating research and outreach to secure the global soil resource. Some of her specific research includes developing functions that show the effect of management on soil physical properties, on-farm soil health assessments, qualitative analysis of farmer interviews, and outreach to farmers in the United States. She and Monte discuss the importance of being able to quantify and assess the practices that are being used to build soil health across the country. Listen in to this powerful conversation. Dr. Dianna Bagnall serves as a Research Soil Scientist for the Soil Health Institute. She is an applied soil physicist specializing in soil physical health and socioeconomic dynamics of soil management. Her current work includes integrating research and outreach to secure the global soil resource. Specific research includes developing functions that show the effect of management on soil physical properties, on-farm soil health assessments, qualitative analysis of farmer interviews, and outreach to cotton farmers in the United States. Dianna is an associate editor for Vadose Zone Journal, the 2023 Soil Health Community Leader for the American Society of Agronomy, and the Early Career Representative to the Soil Science Society of America Board. www.Soilhealthinstitute.org Soil Health Institute and Cargill Partner to Advance Water Stewardship Through Improved Soil Health https://soilhealthinstitute.org/news-events/soil-health-institute-and-cargill-partner-to-advance-water-stewardship-through-improved-soil-health/?fbclid=IwAR2IwKGj1LIvf63sCmEZvNURdxOVYIg252o6afWor8BrLpO9bakEU07RTJk Got questions you want answered? Send them our way and we’ll do our best to research and find answers. Know someone you think would be great on the AgEmerge stage or podcast? Send your questions or suggestions to email@example.com we’d love to hear from you. Timestamps: 00:00 18:18 Plant Available Water 22:20 Soil Carbon 34:54 Water Stewardship Quantification 45:19 Next Level Soil Health Benefits
AgEmerge Podcast 122 with Jimmy Emmons
Jimmy Emmons is the Senior Vice President of Trust In Food and leads their Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Connected Ag Project, America’s Conservation Ag Movement and Trust In Beef, coalition-driven conservation programs developed to accelerate the adoption of conservation agriculture at scale. Monte and Jimmy discuss what the successful implementation of these practices looks like and how leaving a legacy is so much more than leaving a piece of property. Jimmy and his wife, Ginger, own and operate Emmons Farm in Leedey, Okla., where they farm 2,000 acres and have 5,000 acres of rangeland where they run 300 head of cows and calves in an integrated row-crop and livestock operation that optimizes water resources, reduces erosion and improves organic material in the soils. He is a public speaker, educator, mentor and advocate for conservation management practices to improve producers’ resiliency to weather, operational efficiency and profitability. Emmons most recently served as coordinator for mentoring for the Oklahoma Conservation Commission. Prior to that, he was regional coordinator for USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation, where he supported operational and business functions across the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Risk Management Agency (RMA). He has also served as president of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts and led fundraising for the National Young Farmers Education Association. https://www.trustinfood.com/ Got questions you want answered? Send them our way and we’ll do our best to research and find answers. Know someone you think would be great on the AgEmerge stage or podcast? Send your questions or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org we’d love to hear from you.
AgEmerge Podcast 121 with Dr. Jack Schultz
Dr. Jack Schultz is a Research Professor in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Houston. His research has focused on the chemical and molecular interactions between plants and insect herbivores. And those relationships are what Monte and Dr. Schultz explore as they discuss the amazing communications being discovered between plants and insects. It’s a fascinating conversation so let’s jump right in. Dr. Schultz’s research has focused on the chemical and molecular bases of interactions between plants and insect herbivores, integrating insect physiology and behavior with plant chemistry, molecular biology and ecology. He (with undergraduate Ian Baldwin) was the first to demonstrate volatile signaling by and among plants. He also studied the role of plant tannins induced by insect attack in defending plants against pests and found that some interfere with biocontrol. Gene expression underlies defense induction by plants. The Schultz lab demonstrated the relationship between gene expression, resource allocation, defense compound production and plant defense using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. They also found that salivary signals allow some insects to block plant defense responses. Some insects induce the development of unique organs on plants called ‘galls.’ Galls house the insect and provide concentrated food resources. A team led by Schultz demonstrated that development of the gall formed on grape leaves by grape phylloxera involves plant genetic pathways unrelated to leaf development and requires relatively undifferentiated leaf cells and manipulation of plant hormones. In 2007, Schultz became Director of the Christopher Bond Life Science Center at the University of Missouri, where he led interdisciplinary research by faculty from 8 departments in 6 colleges. Funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and NSF, he developed and taught in a training program in science communication for graduate students. Schultz has also taught tropical ecology and studied plant defenses in Costa Rica, primarily at the La Selva Biological Station. https://uh.edu/nsm/biology-biochemistry/people/profiles/jack-schultz/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15923339/ Got questions you want answered? Send them our way and we’ll do our best to research and find answers. Know someone you think would be great on the AgEmerge stage or podcast? Send your questions or suggestions to email@example.com we’d love to hear from you.
AgEmerge Podcast 120 with Dr. Kelsey Griesheim
Dr. Kelsey Griesheim is an Assistant Professor of Soil Fertility at North Dakota State University. She completed her PhD at the University of Illinois, where she worked under Dr. Richard Mulvaney conducting field evaluations to measure fertilizer uptake efficiency of various application types. Monte and Dr. Griesheim take a deep dive into her studies of nitrogen. She gives us a lot to think about like when we apply nitrogen, we’re fertilizing our crops, but we are also fertilizing the microorganisms. And that, Dr. Griesheim points out, is why nitrogen management is so difficult, because we have to take into account the fact that nitrogen is not just being used by the plants, it's also being used by microorganisms in the soil. And they’re often, a lot better at scavenging nitrogen than the crop is. We’ll cover that and so much more so let’s get started. Kelsey Griesheim grew up in Mt. Pulaski, Illinois and completed her BS, MS, and PhD from the University of Illinois in Urbana, Champaign. She was hired as assistant professor of soil fertility at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in February of 2023. While at Illinois, she worked under Dr. Richard Mulvaney conducting field evaluations to measure fertilizer uptake efficiency of various application types using 15N as a tracer. She is currently building a research program at NDSU to tackle the same issues for North Dakota producers. https://www.ndsu.edu/agriculture/ag-home/directory/kelsey-griesheim https://acsess.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/saj2.20503 https://acsess.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/saj2.20531 Got questions you want answered? Send them our way and we’ll do our best to research and find answers. Know someone you think would be great on the AgEmerge stage or podcast? Send your questions or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org we’d love to hear from you.
AgEmerge Podcast 119 Dr. Christian Krupke
Dr. Christian Krupke is a professor in the Deptartment of Entomology at Purdue University where he focuses on insect pest management in field crops. His research has concentrated on illuminating the strengths and weaknesses of the primary pest management approaches used in corn and soybeans. And he has a special focus on Bt corn and neonicotinoid seed treatments. Dr. Krupke and Monte discuss the resilience of nature and how fast it bounces back. They discuss what we’ve learned about preserving the biology in the soil and how to reconsider those pest management systems. Christian Krupke is a professor in the Dept of Entomology at Purdue University. He completed his doctoral degree in entomology at Washington State University in 2004, and since 2005 has worked at Purdue with responsibilities in insect pest management in field crops (i.e. corn, soybeans, wheat and other small grains), where he leads active applied research and extension programs. Dr. Krupke also teaches a graduate level course in Integrated Pest Management (IPM). His research has focused upon elucidating the strengths and weaknesses of the primary pest management approaches used in corn and soybeans, with special focus upon Bt corn and neonicotinoid seed treatments of corn and soybeans. Dr. Krupke has published over 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts and given dozens of talks on these subjects to fellow researchers, members of USDA, EPA, USFWS, and a range of stakeholder groups including growers of these commodities, beekeepers, and a wide range of conservation organizations. Purdue University Field Crops IPM Lab: https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/fieldcropsipm/index.php Research Publications: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Christian-Krupke Got questions you want answered? Send them our way and we’ll do our best to research and find answers. Know someone you think would be great on the AgEmerge stage or podcast? Send your questions or suggestions to email@example.com we’d love to hear from you.
AgEmerge Podcast 118 with Anthony Corsaro
Meet Anthony Corsaro, an entrepreneur, investor, and regenerative agriculture evangelist whose mission is to help heal our people and planet through ventures that inspire the production and consumption of healthy, nutrient-dense foods. This is a powerful conversation including Anthony’s personal intense health journey and how he walks the walk when it comes to food as medicine. Anthony is the Founder and Managing Director at Outlaw Ventures: a family office backing the rebels, radicals, and revolutionaries building the better food system of tomorrow. Outlaw Ventures is in the process of raising a venture capital fund to invest in early-stage regenerative consumer brands. Anthony is also the Creator and Co-Host of The ReGen Brands Podcast: a podcast about the consumer brands supporting regenerative agriculture and how they’re changing the world. He is also the Founder of Regeneration Nation: a clothing company and community hub for the heroes and advocates of regenerative agriculture. Follow these links for more content from Anthony: https://www.regencoalition.com/ https://regen-brands.com/ https://regen-brands.beehiiv.com/subscribe https://www.outlaw.ventures/ Got questions you want answered? Send them our way and we’ll do our best to research and find answers. Know someone you think would be great on the AgEmerge stage or podcast? Send your questions or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org we’d love to hear from you.
AgEmerge Podcast 117 with Erin Meyer
Erin is the Founder and President of Basil's Harvest (BH), a nonprofit sharing the message that soil health impacts human health by bringing people together in agriculture, health, and food systems to grow regional systems that are good for people and the planet. She is also a Clinical Associate at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Peoria, IL, where she enjoys training residents in the Food is Medicine experiential program she co-developed. Erin is a chef and registered dietitian with a Master of Sustainable Food Systems. Before founding BH, Erin developed on-farm experiential sustainable food system education and outreach to culinary professionals and health care professionals, owned a wholesale and retail food business that supported regional organic growers that created made-from-scratch goods, and was a certified diabetes educator. Erin loves to ride her bike, play pickle ball, cook with friends and family, and spend time with her husband and two daughters around the table enjoying lively talks and eating tasty food. Check out the links to Basil’s Harvest, the research Erin mentioned, as well as Janie's Mill. https://basilsharvest.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/092221_BH_Report_RM_MP_OneUp_Digital.pdf https://basilsharvest.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Soil-Factsheet-2023-Final-Draft.pdf www.basilsharvest.org https://www.linkedin.com/company/basilsharvest/ https://www.janiesmill.com/ Got questions you want answered? Send them our way and we’ll do our best to research and find answers. Know someone you think would be great on the AgEmerge stage or podcast? Send your questions or suggestions to email@example.com we’d love to hear from you.
AgEmerge Podcast Episode 116 Soil Health Medley
We’re focusing on the soil health principles that so many of our guests encourage growers to adopt and where it’s so important for us to first understand our context, knowing what plants and animals flourish in our specific environments. From there we work to not disturb the soil, reducing and eliminating both mechanical and chemical disruption. Next, we focus on armoring the soil by keeping it covered at all times. As well as keeping a living root in the soil to feed that soil biology. Then we add diversity, including diversity of plants, insects, microbes, wildlife and finally adding livestock to the land. From understanding water and mineral cycling, to how energy flows Monte says often, the practices may vary from location to location but the principles remain the same. On the AgEmerge Podcast we strive to bring content that help growers understand how they can adopt, improve and regenerate their soils. After all, soils really are the foundation of the work we are doing and it’s also the life work of many of our podcast guests. Some of our guests have had major epiphanies when it comes to soil health. And the great thing is, they put their money where their mouth is and share what they’ve learned. This podcast is meant to whet your appetite by revisiting some of the great guests we’ve had to understand how they shifted their paradigms, how they’ve come to the conclusion that adopting these changes were and are necessary in our production systems. We’ve picked out some great highlights, with Dr Dwayne Beck from the Dakota Lakes Research Farm, Conservationist Jay Fuhrer, Entomologist Dr. John Tooker, Erin Martin founder of Conscious Aging Solutions, and Dr. Allen Williams from Understanding Ag. These folks are a powerhouse of knowledge so let’s jump right in. Got questions you want answered? Send them our way and we’ll do our best to research and find answers. Know someone you think would be great on the AgEmerge stage or podcast? Send your questions or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you. INTROS TO SPEAKERS We start off with Dr. Dwayne Beck from Dakota Lakes Research farm. Dr. Beck’s work on developing and promoting diverse no-till cropping systems plays an important role in allowing producers to dramatically improve their profitability while also protecting soil and water resources; enhancing wildlife habitat; reducing net carbon dioxide emissions; improving air quality and having other positive impacts. Another power hitter in the line-up is Conservationist Jay Fuhrer. Jay’s approach to solving the problems of soil health is, as he says, doing most of his work with a spade, in a field with his clients. From cover crops to water cycling Jay has it covered. Oh and don’t miss this important quote, Jay says, “diversity is the holy grail to go after. Next Dr. Tooker Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Entomology at Pennsylvania State University discusses his research studying relationships among plants, invertebrate herbivores, and natural enemies, he’s challenging us to truly observe what’s happening not only in but around our fields, using the power of observation while pausing to explore all the possible factors affecting our system. We’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about how soil health affects human health and that’s where our guest Erin Martin of Conscious Aging Solutions shares how she’s studying the soil health - human health connection. She has a powerful desire to uncover how food plays such a significant role in our aging process. Erin is passionate about soil health and exploring how food is medicine. Her successful FreshRX Oklahoma program is successfully helping people struggling with diabetes to source local, regeneratively raised food to address their health concerns. Finally we wrap up with Dr. Allen Williams a 6th generation family farmer and founding partner of Understanding Ag, the Soil Health Academy, and Regenified. Dr. Allen says the very first thing we have to do is transform our minds before we can start transforming practices because if we don't understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, we’ll be hard pressed to see success.
AgEmerge Podcast 115 with Tom Willey
Tom Willey, along with his wife Denesse, operated T&D Willey Farms from 1981 until 2016. Their 75-acre Certified Organic farm is located in Madera, California, where they grow a wide array of Mediterranean vegetables all year. Tom says, “we've got to figure out how to live on agriculture without destroying the natural systems that support its productivity.” He says organic is all about living biology and the diversity of biology and and the all of the living organisms in your soil. Monte and Tom have a great conversation about all these things and so much more. T&D Willey Farms produce was appreciated in specialty markets and fine restaurants up and down the U.S. West Coast as well as on the tables of over 800 weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription members. Tom was, for nearly a decade, Slow Food USA's governor for California's Central Valley and he passionately advocates for local food prominence through his writing, speaking, radio, and event organizing activities. Tom's monthly "Down on the Farm" radio interview program features the work of progressive farmers and others prominent in San Joaquin Valley's agriculture and food communities. Tom has served over the years on the boards of directors of the Ecological Farming Association (EFA) and California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and presently is a member of CCOF Certification Services’ five-person LLC Management Committee. He currently serves as a Policy Advisor to The Cornucopia Institute which monitors integrity of the U.S. organic industry. He has been collaborating with several California organic growers to develop no-till and reduced-till organic vegetable production systems over the last three years. Follow Tom's work by clicking here: https://tdwilleyfarms.com/podcast-down-on-the-farm-with-tom-willey/
AgEmerge Podcast 114 with Garth Mulkey
Garth Mulkey and his wife, Susan, are fourth-generation seed farmers in the Willamette Valley of Western Oregon and have been growing, conditioning and marketing seeds at the same location since 1966. As dedicated seed producers, they are always focused on seed purity and quality, combined with proven genetics. Today Garth and Monte have a great conversation about the work Garth is doing. A family-owned business, GS3 Quality Seed Inc. is owned by Garth and Susan Mulkey. Garth and Susan have been no-till farming for 23 years and know firsthand the benefits of planting radishes and other cover crops. Even in seed production fields, radishes provide the same great benefits as they do for row-crop producers. The GS3 Difference We work closely with our agronomists, beekeepers, and Oregon State University to ensure that our crops are developing to their highest level. Each field is carefully planned and managed in order to secure high purity and germination of our seed. https://www.tilthpro.com/ Got questions you want answered? Send them our way and we’ll do our best to research and find answers. Know someone you think would be great on the AgEmerge stage or podcast? Send your questions or suggestions to email@example.com we’d love to hear from you.
AgEmerge Podcast 113 with Eric Fuchs
Eric Fuchs is a consultant for Understanding Ag. Eric’s work and experience make for a great conversation. He lives in Southeast Missouri on a diversified livestock operation where they raise hair sheep and contract graze cattle. He’s been using Holistic Planned Grazing for over eight years and managed a grazing system on his operation for more than 20 years. In addition to that, Eric also works in the water and wastewater industry as a source water protection technician. He works with small and large small communities and with agricultural producers to help ensure community water protection. His efforts help save millions of dollars in costly water treatment system upgrades while also negating the need for long-term regulations. He has seen firsthand the problems with agriculture land use and its effect on drinking water. Eric’s journey into regenerative ag began on his own operation when he discovered how soil health focused practices could benefit water resources. He also realized that more regulation is never the answer but that the solutions for clean water are easily attainable by changing how we operate. Graduating from the University of Missouri in 1994 with a degree in agronomy, Eric served in the U.S. Air Force for five years, during which time he received a master’s degree in human resource development. Got questions you want answered? Send them our way and we’ll do our best to research and find answers. Know someone you think would be great on the AgEmerge stage or podcast? Send your questions or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org we’d love to hear from you.
AgEmerge Podcast 112 with Frank Lessiter
Frank Lessiter is the founder of Lessiter Media and editor of No-Till Farmer. Frank interviewed Monte for the No-Till Farmer Influencers and Innovations Podcast. Frank and Monte discuss soil health, no-till and the regenerative agriculture movement and much more. Frank is the son of a fifth-generation Michigan dairy farm father and ag engineer and whose mother, a high school English teacher, influenced his love of storytelling. His wife, Pam, a business education graduate, is the daughter of an elementary school teacher and an industrial education professor. Graduates of Michigan State University, Frank and Pam met on the MSU campus, where both were employed in the university’s information services offices. On March 6, 1981, Frank and Pam hung out their own shingle upon acquiring a magazine, trade show and newsletter (with a staff of 5) from Reiman Publications (now part of Reader’s Digest), where Frank was executive vice president and chief editorial director. With a new company formed at the onset of the worst farm recession ever, their first decade in business brought challenges, yet also forged and annealed a foundation for what would become a very different kind of publishing company. And principles that would serve it as it evolved still several decades later. Through those lean years and the period of growth that followed, the name “Lessiter” (which at one time depended solely on paid-subscriptions), became synonymous with words like “actionable, meaningful, practical and relevant” for the content it delivered to its highly targeted audiences. Not fluff, not advertorials nor PR-speak, but rather unbiased, independent information that its subscribers and attendees could weigh, and act upon. “Where content becomes knowledge” began to be woven into the fabric of the Lessiter name. The decades that followed attracted new talent, and brought launches, acquisitions, new events and digital media channels. And yes, a few divestitures, too, as the company focused on the segments in which it could most make a difference. But the content-first approach has never wavered since that day in 1981 and Lessiter Media impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of subscribers, marketers and employees — as well as their families and ensuing generations. The small company launched an independent, unbiased conference for farmers when Monsanto was going to control the message to farmers. It unearthed lightning-rod topics that had be addressed when others didn’t want to “rock the boat” —unscrupulous practices affecting equine health, attempts at governmental regulation of farriers, and the brand purity and other “unwritten” tactics taking place in the farm equipment industry. On more than one occasion, the company elected to walk away from business rather than yield editorial independence. “We’ve refused to compromise on editorial quality as we deliver practical, ‘meat-and-potato’ content in everything we do,” says Lessiter. “This means delivering content that readers need to advance their businesses and lives. This has allowed us to achieve number-one status as the information source in each segment of the Niche Markets we serve — because the needs of the audience are placed first.” The family company is now in its second generation under Mike Lessiter, who joined the firm in 2003 after 12 years of prior trade publishing experience in Chicago. He became president in 2007 and as a second-generation ag editor, retains his editor/publisher role today. Following the firm’s move into modern and new collaborative-style offices in the spring of 2015, the firm was renamed Lessiter Media to better reflect its evolution beyond only the print channel — and into social media, video, broadcast, webinars, search and mobile access. “Any company in this business is only as good as the people who make it happen,” says Lessiter. “Our group of over 40 hardworking professionals, and all those who came before whose shoulders they stand on today, have set the bar high. By working together and bringing our best every day, we’ll continue to share solutions in each of the niche segments we serve.” Still residing in their same Brookfield home they’ve been in since 1972 and just a bike ride away from the new offices, Frank (who continues as chairman and editorial director) and Pam (retired CFO and company director) are also the proud parents of three daughters (Debbie Hansen, Susie Grabow and Kelly Fitch - all professional educators) and 14 grandchildren. https://www.no-tillfarmer.com/ Got questions you want answered? Send them our way and we’ll do our best to research and find answers. Know someone you think would be great on the AgEmerge stage or podcast? Send your questions or suggestions to email@example.com we’d love to hear from you.
Produced by Kim Sheese
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