Regenerative Ag forum set for November 6

For Hoosier farmer Roger Wenning, his 12 grandchildren are the reason he is so passionate about soil health and conservation. He uses conservation practices in his farming operation for the generations to come.

Wenning and other Hoosier farmers will share their expertise on November 6 at the “Regenerative Ag Forum: Next Steps for Soil Health & Climate Mitigation.”

Senator Mike Braun will kick-off the forum in a “fireside chat” moderated by Randy Kron, Indiana Farm Bureau president, and Chris Lee, of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office in Princeton, Indiana. Sen. Braun is a Senate Agriculture Committee member and co-founder of the bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus.  He visits all 92 Indiana counties each year to speak with local farmers.

  • Where: Straub Brothers Recreational Center, 7700 Nisbet Road, Haubstadt, Indiana.
  • When: Saturday, November 6, 2021 from 9 am – 1 pm CDT.
  • Cost: Registration is free thanks to underwriting from event sponsors and lunch is being donated by DiLegge’s Restaurant. 
  • How to Participate: register online at www.ccsin.org/registration-other-events and is limited to the first 200 registrants. For additional information, email acnellis@twc.com or phone (not text) 812-424-6832.

Wenning and Barry Fisher, an NRCS retiree and national leader in regenerative ag, will share their experience using regenerative ag practices, which Fisher continues to advocate through Fisher Soil Health LLC and practice on his own grain and livestock farm in Greencastle, Indiana. Wenning, in Greenburg, farms about 900 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat – 100 percent no-till, 100 percent cover cropped, and 100 percent planted green. Rounding out their presentations will be Erik Bender, owner of Posey County’s cover crop seed business, A Cut Above. Bender will discuss the combinations of cover crop seeds that work best with various crops.

Wenning says his family, like many other farm families, has to be creative to thrive as a multi-generational operation. He has focused on improving his soil’s health and function. “I can’t grow my farm horizontally – the land’s too expensive – but I can grow it vertically.  I can get higher yields with the same inputs, just growing it deeper.”

The Wennings also seek to limit the use of insecticides and residual herbicides – and they have been able to do just that with their soil health system that Wenning will be sharing with the forum attendees.

Twelve vendors will be tabling at the forum.  Among those will be an “Ask the Local Pros’ Advice” table, where two local growers, Pat Bittner and Doug Bergman, will answer attendees’ questions about what regenerative/conservation ag practices work best in Southwest Indiana.  

Forum sponsors include Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative, PUSH-IT (Promoting Urban Soil Health in Towns), Southwest Indiana Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Earth Charter Indiana, DiLegge’s Restaurant, Purdue University Extension – Posey County, Citizens’ Climate Education, Toyota, The Nature Conservancy, Homesteader Hut, Triple S Ag Solutions, and Advancing Eco Agriculture.