Keynote and Breakout Descriptions

To view the Preliminary Program and  information about the breakout sessions, 
please refer to the document located at the bottom of the page. 

Keynote and Plenary Sessions
Tuesday, February 18

9:00 - 9:45 a.m. 
National Broadcast Conference Opening: Big Picture with Conservation Pertaining to Cover Crops and Soil Health
Secretary Tom Vilsack, USDA (invited), and Howard G. Buffett, Howard G. Buffett Foundation

9:45 - 10:45 a.m. 
National Broadcast Farmer Panel: Experiences with Cover Crops and Impacts on Soil Health
Dan DeSutter, Indiana; Dave Brandt, Oho; Clay Mitchell, Iowa; and Gabe Brown, North Dakota

11:00 - 12:00 a.m.
Keynote Presentation:
Soil Health
Dr. Wayne Honeycutt, USDA-NRCS, and Dr. Kristine Nichnols, USDA-ARS (North Dakota)

Dr. Honeycutt will provide an overview of the USDA-NRCS national soil health initiative and specific steps that NRCS is taking to foster soil health improvements. Dr. Nichols will address the factors impacting soil biology and soil health. 

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Evening Banquet Presentation:
Reflections on the Need for Cover Crops and Soil Health Improvements

Dave White, Former Chief NRCS

Dave White served as Chief of the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) from 2009 - 2012, after a long career in several positions with the agency. Known for his communication skills and conservation insights, he will provide some reflections and observations on the opportunities and challenges facing conservation in the U.S., including his sponsorship of a new soil health initiative and the role of cover crops in this initiative.

Plenary Sessions
Wednesday, February 19

8:00 - 8:30 a.m.
Plenary Session: 
Key Findings from National SARE Cover Crops Survey and SARE Resources on Cover Crops
Rob Myers, North Central SARE

Dr. Myers will highlight key results and finding from the 2012 and 2013 national cover crops farmer surveys funded by USDA-SARE and conducted by the Conservation Technology Information Center. This data will include farmer reports of yield responses to cover crops, perceived challenges and benefits of cover crops, and types of cover crops being used, He will also share information on the latest SARE information resources on cover crops. 

12:00 - 1:00 p..
Lunch Presentation: 
Industry Perspective
Paul Schickler, President of DuPont Pioneer

Paul E. Schickler is president of DuPont Pioneer, the advanced seed genetics business of DuPont. In this role, which he has held since 2007, he has continued to expand Pioneer's global business by remaining focused on innovation that improves local productivity and profitability of farmers in more than 90 countries. He will provide an industry perspective on conservation issues, including the role that industry can play in fostering improved soil health and use of conservation practices such as cover crops.

2:20 - 3:00 p.m.
Closing Plenary Session: TBD

Courtney Allen,
Nov 18, 2013, 10:48 AM
Courtney Allen,
Jan 17, 2014, 6:01 AM