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CRITICAL CONCERNS: Soil conservation is about more than helping the environment today. It’s also about ensuring that farms will stay productive in the future.

Soil Health Partnership team expands in Iowa, Wisconsin

Staff additions will offer enhanced support in states key to soil health effort.

The Soil Health Partnership welcomes two new field managers to the staff. Lisa Kubik and Tricia Verville joined SHP in April to assist with the growing number of farmers in the program in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

“Recent staff promotions within our organization and our growing presence in 12 states drives this latest staff expansion,” says Nick Goeser, acting SHP director and National Corn Growers Association vice president of production and sustainability.  “We welcome Lisa and Tricia to the partnership and look forward to their expertise and enthusiasm.”

SHP works directly with farmers
SHP field managers help new farmers get started in the program with test plots, and assist along the way with soil sampling, monitoring and answering questions about the farming techniques implemented on a site. They help organize, attend and offer presentations at field days. The field managers’ expertise and training are critical to the success of the research gained from the field for the long-term data project.

Kubik will work in eastern Iowa, taking over for Elyssa McFarland who has been promoted to key relationships director for SHP. Verville will work in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

A certified crop adviser, Kubik comes to the SHP after five years with WinField United, a Land O’Lakes company. She is a 2014 graduate of Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in ag business and minors in agronomy and animal science. She grew up on a farm in Lake Mills, Iowa.

Making no-till, cover crops work
“I most look forward to working with farmers, building those relationships and helping them make sustainable practices work economically on their farms,” Kubik says. “Farmers are interested in practices like no-till and cover crops, but they want to make sure it works for them economically. I’m excited to be part of that.”

Verville comes to the organization after a year working on shoreland, floodplain and zoning regulations for Winnebago County, Wis. Prior to that, she spent three years as a crop specialist for Insight FS in Wautoma, Wis., providing agronomy support and sales to local growers. A certified crop adviser and certified crop specialist, she is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, majoring in soil and land management with a minor in environmental law enforcement.

Economics of soil health
“Everything starts with the soil and depends on the soil,” Verville says. “Even though my family didn’t farm, I’ve always been interested in plants and science, and soil health is critical. I’m excited to be a resource for farmers.”

An initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, the Soil Health Partnership is a data-driven program working to quantify the benefits of practices that support soil health from an economic as well as environmental standpoint.

Source: Soil Health Partnership




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