Soil:  The Final Frontier

February 21, 2019  |  10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  |  La Crosse, Wis.



Kristine Nichols, KRIS (Knowledge for Regeneration and Innovation in Soils)
Loran Steinlage, FLOLOfarms


  • What soil health means
  • Principles for regenerating soil
  • Tools for soil health assessment
  • Developing soil health observation skills
  • Applying systems approach to improve soil



This course boldly covers the principles and tools for soil health to support your ongoing mission to improve the soil on your organic farm.

Soil microbiologist Kris Nichols founded KRIS (Knowledge for Regeneration and Innovation in Soils) Systems Education & Consultation. She was chief scientist at Rodale Institute. Iowa farmer Loran Steinlage has a 1,500-acre operation where he’s exploring no-till organic companion/relay cropping.

This farmer-researcher pair will combine practical knowledge with research data to encourage you to become a systems-thinker who uses biological, mechanical, and organic chemical tools synergistically for maximum impact. They’ll demonstrate soil health assessment tools, and show you how to create some tools yourself. They’ll help you develop new observation skills to guide you as you build your farm’s soil.


Presenter bios:

Kris Nichols, Ph.D.,is the founder and principal scientist of KRIS (Knowledge for Regeneration and Innovation in Soils) Systems Education & Consultation. She was Rodale Institute’s Chief Scientist from 2014-2017, a Research (Soil) Microbiologist with the USDA, ARS in North Dakota for 11 years and a Biological Laboratory Technician with ARS in Beltsville, MD for 3 years. Kris received B.S. degrees in Plant Biology and in Genetics and Cell Biology from University of Minnesota in 1995, M.S. degree in Environmental Microbiology from West Virginia University in 1999, and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from University of Maryland in 2003.


Loran Steinlage is the Owner/Operator of FLOLOfarms with his wife Brenda. He farms 750 acres and another 750 of custom farm in the West Union, Iowa area, and specializes in adapting practices and equipment to their unique area on the edge of the Driftless area. He is evolving to Companion/Relay No-Till cropping system which is focused on cycling plants to keep a living plant in the soil at all times, to help aid in moisture management and weed suppression. Currently producing corn, soybeans, cereal rye, winter wheat, malt barley, and buckwheat.




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