Dear Readers: 

This is just a reminder that our annual soil building workshop will be held 
on August 20th and 21st at Morgan Composting in Sears, MI.  It is looking 
like the turnout will be quite good, but we hope to have as many people 
contributing to this event as possible. The deadline for early-bird 
registration looms ahead; registration by August 15th will cost $30 for one 
day and $50 for both days.  After this date, the price will increase by $10. 
You may register online at: 

(The above site also has links to the flyer, which contains the mail-in 
registration form, and the program for the event.)

Some more info:
Innovations to Build Soils to Feed Sustainable Communities is a two-day 
workshop featuring an expert in soil health from the Cornell University Soil 
Health Team, in Ithaca, New York. The event will take place Wednesday and 
Thursday, August 20-21 at Morgan Composting in Sears, Mich (4353 US Highway 
10) from 9 am to 4:30 pm each day. 

The workshop will consist of two days of educational sessions by researchers 
and expert farmers, a tour of Morgan Composting and vermicompost Facility, a 
trade show, and demonstrations of equipment for using compost and equipment 
targeted to growers to scale up production (such as transplanters, seeders, 
mulchers, and compost spreaders). The focus of the discussions will be on 
improving crop quality by building healthier soils. Wednesday, August 20, 
will highlight vegetable production, and Thursday, August 21, will feature 
field crop production. In addition to the trade show and field 
demonstrations, representatives from equipment dealerships, the USDA Farm 
Service Agency, and credit unions will be available to discuss opportunities 
to help farmers expand their operations. 

Those attending will also be treated to a presentation by Bob Schindelbeck 
from Cornell University’s Department of Crop and Soil Science. 
Schindelbeck is a Soil Research Specialist on the Cornell Soil Health Team 
who will bring information from the team to the farmer. He will share with 
us how the Cornell Soil Health Team analyzes soil for the living and 
non-living components in the soil, and how they impact the soil quality. The 
Soil Health Team has designed a system for growers to not only understand 
what the soil contains now, but how it can be made more productive using 
appropriate management. In 2007, the team published a manual describing 
their system. This manual provides a broad overview of many key aspects of 
soil health and provides practical information so that growers can assess 
and manage the physical, chemical, and biological components of their 
farms’ soils. For the curious, this manual is available as an online 
resource within the Soil building and Compost section of the website. 

In the afternoon, our guest speaker, Bob Schindelbeck  will demonstrate, 
using farmers’ soils (which they are invited to bring), how soil structure 
or water stable aggregates impact crop production. This demonstration will 
foster a discussion about the impact of soil management on the structure of 
water stable aggregates, which enhance soil drainage, water retention and 
nutrient availability to the plant. 

Attendees may choose either one or two-day registration options for the 
workshop. Cost of registration is as follows: 

               Reservations made by Aug. 15
                       One-day registration: $30
                       Two-day registration: $50
               Reservations made after Aug. 15
                       One-day registration: $40
                       Two-day registration: $60

Trade show tables may be purchased for $60, but reservations must be made by 
postmarked before Aug. 15, and include a two-day registration for two 
people. Trade table and registration forms for the workshop can be found at You can register on-line or print out 
registration forms at and pay by check or credit 
card.  Registration can also be sent in to 303 Natural Resources, c/o 
Morrone, East Lansing, MI 48824.and make checks payable to Michigan State 
University.  For additional questions contact Vicki Morrone at (517) 

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