Nobel Conference Sneak-Peek Soil Tour

July 13, 2018

Start gearing up for Nobel Conference 2018, “Living Soil: A Universe Underfoot!” The Nobel Conference is pairing up with Great River Greening as well as the Nicollet County Farm Bureau on Friday, July 13, for a day of digging into the soil of Nicollet County—figuratively, if not literally. What does soil health mean? What do soil conservation practices do? We’ll address these questions by focusing on some of the specific challenges and opportunities facing area farmers and others who work with the soil:

  • Drainage control: just what is drain tile, anyway, and what does it do?
  • Nutrient management: what’s the big deal with nitrogen? What’s so great about manure?
  • Soil loss management: why do riverbanks erode? What’s a cover crop, and what does it do?
  • Precision agriculture: how do farmers use technology to figure out what their soil needs, acre by acre? Do they all have a drone now?

We’ll tour approximately four different sites, with stops in between for participants to discuss the ecological, economic, and ethical challenges to which working with the soil gives rise.

The day is open to anyone interested in the soil: experienced farmer or soil newcomer. Our conversations will draw on, and be enriched by, the wisdom of the members of the group. We will travel by air-conditioned bus. The day will involve considerable travel by foot over rough ground.

You may arrive on campus any time after 8:30 a.m. to meet tour leaders and fellow participants. The tour will depart promptly at 9 a.m. We will return to campus at about 5 p.m.

On Thursday, July 12 you may also be interested in attending the Linnaeus Symposium, Soil Stewardship: The Ground We Stand On. Learn about soil stewardship in Minnesota through a series of presentations focused on understanding soil as a living ecosystem, the history of how people of Minnesota have used this resource over time, the threats to soil and solutions from the perspective of communities, industry, and agriculture, and ending the day with what an individual citizen or property owner can do to care for the ground we stand on. Find details and register for that event online.

Thursday night, is the Taste of the Minnesota River Valley, a farm-to-table banquet hosted by the Nicollet County Farm Bureau and held at Gustavus. Find details here.

Overnight lodging is available for both Thursday and Friday nights. Check the option on the registration page.


This event is co-sponsored by Great River Greening and the Nicollet County Farm Bureau.

Great Valley Greening logo
Nicollet County Farm Bureau logo