What’s Going On Down There?

Pre-Conference Fireside Chat with Dr. Christine Jones and Ray Archuleta,

What’s Going On Down There?

Thursday, July 15, 7-8:30pm

Let’s connect the dots, casually. Before we get into the practical hands-on content of the 47th Annual NOFA Summer Conference program, we are first going to sit down and have a conversation with Dr. Christine Jones, renowned Australian groundcover and soils ecologist and equally renowned soil scientist Ray Archuleta, formerly of NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Society) in New Mexico, Missouri, Oregon and North Carolina.  

Christine and Ray are two of the most knowledgeable, compelling, and sought-after speakers in the global soil health community. NOFA is honored to open the conference with a deep and engaging conversation between the two of them on topics relevant to Northeast growers.  

We find that in conversation, insights and important points come up that may not occur in a traditional lecture format. We are very excited to have a space where these two thoughtful and renowned individuals can engage each with other on the questions pertinent to NOFA’s regional growers.  

Making the most of the virtual platform, we are excited for this opportunity to host a conversation which may not have been feasible for us in a normal year. Bringing together the body of work of Christine and Ray is an exciting proposition for sure. Their collective research, experience and leadership is far reaching in the realm of carbon sequestration and understanding soil health.  

In addition to a long list of credentials, Christine is a member of Arizona State University’s ‘Carbon Nation Team’ and sits on the advisory board of ‘The Carbon Underground’. These organizations recognize that farming and grazing practices designed to improve levels of soil biological activity through the active management of diverse yearlong green groundcover are key to the restoration of soil function, clean water and nutrient dense food. 

After his retirement from the NRCS in 2017, Ray helped to found Understanding Ag, LLC, and Soil Health Academy, LLC, to teach Biomimicry strategies and Agroecology principles for improving soil function on a national scale. Ray also owns and operates a 150-acre farm near Seymour, Missouri that he operates along with his wife and family. 

Christine will join us from across the globe (and technically from the future, as Australia is 14 hours ahead of us) and Ray will join us from Missouri.  

This Fireside Chat will be an opportunity for these two soil experts to range far and wide, or deep and narrow, in discussion around soil health practices we aspire to emulate here in the Northeast. The session will be guided by prompts and questions from NOFA/Mass’s Soil Tech Team and will cover a variety of topics regarding soil aggregates, plant synergies, nutrient transfer and more.  

This engaging conversation with thought leaders and practitioners on the cutting edge of the best understandings in soil health is not to be missed. You can register for this event on July 15th as part of the full Summer Conference, or separately, at nofasummerconference.org.