C-FARM 2nd Annual Conference

Kansas State University hosted the second annual conference for the Carbon Farming Alliance for Research and Management (C-FARM) project on March 26th – 27th. Co-PIs Dr. Deann Presley and Dr. Peter Tomlinson from Kansas State organized an enjoyable and productive event open to all project collaborators and partners. The conference was pleased to welcome Dr. Allison Thomson from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), the primary supporter for this grant.

Photo by Yadunath BajgaiThe conference kicked off with an enlightening field trip, providing participants with the opportunity to meet local producers cooperating with Kansas State and observe soil pits and plots sampled for C-FARM data. Manan Kapoor, Senior Data Analyst, shared his impression of the trip: “The field trip arranged by Dr. Presley and Dr. Tomlinson was  very informative and helped me build a solid foundation of knowledge in this domain. It was highly interactive and accelerated my understanding of complex concepts in soil science and agriculture." Earthworm by Deann PresleyC-FARM Research Scientist Dr. Yadunath Bajgai appreciated the focus on different soil profile managements during the field trip, noting particularly the discussion on buried soils or paleosols.

Dinner catered by The Farmhouse. Photo by Deann PresleyThe evening continued with a catered meal from local restaurant The Farmhouse, followed by a facilitated discussion with producers from the Kansas Corn and Kansas Farm Bureau. Participants found the panel session with producers insightful, as C-FARM Researcher Dr. Nancy Loria said that "hearing directly from farmers about their experiences with reduced tillage practices and cover cropping proved particularly beneficial.”

The second day featured a presentation session, commencing with a welcome from Agriculture Department Head Dr. Raj Khosla and keynote speech by Dr. PV Vara Prasad on his research at the Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab at Kansas State University. Dr. PV Vara Prasad Keynote. Photo by Deann PresleySeveral C-FARM collaborators provided updates on their respective projects, including Dr. Presley and Dr. Tomlinson at Kansas State, Dr. Ross Bricklemyer from Bayer, Dr. Matthew Hamilton, Dr.  Asmita Murumkar, Dr. Roger Williams, and Afaf Abdelrahim  from the Ohio State University, Sagar Gautam from Sandia National Laboratories, and Liz Dotzlaf from Michigan State University.

Dr. Rattan Lal concluded the session with a synthesis of the project's progress in his presentation entitled Why Carbon Farming?, and C-FARM Researchers Dr. Yadunath Bajgai, Dr. Nancy Loria, and Dr. Carla Gavilan shared their progress in a poster session. Dr. Rattan Lal. Photo by Deann PresleyDr. Gavilan especially valued the opportunity to interact with colleagues in person, highlighting the rejuvenating effect it had on the C-FARM collaborators, who returned eager to continue their vital work in positioning sustainable agriculture as a key tool in environmental stewardship. Dr. Bajgai felt that the event clearly demonstrated the powerful potential for “on-farm conservation agriculture [to position] itself as [a] climate solution.”

Kansas field by Deann Presley