Conservation agriculture news
Three relatively new USDA NRCS additions to the State Office, State Soil Scientist Tony Rolfes, State Agronomist Hudson Minshew, and Regional Soil Health Coordinator, Kabir Zahangir, along with Northern California NRCS Soil Scientist, Jim Komar, met with CASI Chair Jeff Mitchell on August 19th in the State Office in Davis to talk about ongoing partnerships and collaborative efforts. The meeting provided an opportunity for Mitchell to update Rolfes, Minshew, and Zahangir on work that our Workgroup has been conducting over the years and in particular with respect to the California farm demonstration network that grew from a prior meeting between CASI and NRCS on October 14, 2014 when the network was launched. The get-together also gave everyone a good opportunity to begin to explore future opportunities for further expansion of collaborations. The very long-lasting, excellent and very close relationships that CASI has held with NRCS throughout the State look forward now to working with this new generation of NRCS leadership.
2016 Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation Center’s Farmer Technical Service and Farmer Service Award - Ladi Asgill
The recipient of the Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation Center's Farmer Technical Support Innovator Award for 2016 is Ladi Asgill.
Ladi is the Senior Project Manager of Sustainable Conservation, a San Francisco-headquartered environmental organization that believes that protecting the environment can also be good for business.
The various climate, air, water and wildlife initiatives of Sustainable Conservation promote practical solutions that produce tangible, lasting benefits for California, and their success in helping to solve California's most pressing environmental issues is driven by powerful business partnerships, innovative solutions and trusted leadership.
Ladi is a highly capable, results-oriented, “can do” guy who has worked quite successfully with Mike and California Ag Solutions President, Monte Bottens, to make the FASTER FORAGE program successful. He has considerable intellectual capability and also is gifted with an almost insatiable desire to get things done. This is perhaps the single-most telling characteristic of Ladi, - his ability to quickly seize upon the essence of what needs to be done and to then marshal the people and resources to actually see the vision through to completion and success. Dare we say that he is rather well known within our CASI (Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation) Center workgroup for this and his very steadfast focus on results is a trait that not only often serves to get a group to bear down on a particular task at hand, but to also then pull together the specifics that are needed to actually realize the successful completion of the task, and to do so in a manner that endears him to his colleagues.
Ladi's employment as a Senior Project Manager with Sustainable Conservation has brought great value and recognition to this award-winning environmental organization in recent years. He has bulldogged a number of projects in their diverse portfolio that have been quite useful in terms of air quality benefits here in the San Joaquin Valley. I have worked together with Ladi on several of these efforts including some of the very early research and development related to conservation tillage options for Valley dairy farmers, the incentive-based “BMP Challenge” Conservation Innovation Grant project that we worked on here in California with a group from the Midwest, the development of CASI's strategic plan, and the ongoing biennial conservation tillage acreage survey that we've conducted since 2004. In each of these interactions that we've had with Ladi, we have found him to be congenial, a very good communicator, an incisive thinker, and a truly trustworthy partner.
Ladi has also been a stalwart contributor to the CT Workgroup in our annual presence at the World Ag Expo. He has spent much time at our booth and in representing our Center.
Ladi is also a proud Fellow and graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation's “Class 38” cohort and he has taken quite a lot from his involvement and experience in this very good leadership development program. He interacts quite well with very diverse groups that include farmers, private sector groups, government agency representatives, and lastly, but certainly not least, the NRCS. He is perhaps THE most widely -known environmental organization representative at this time in the San Joaquin Valley and he has close, existing relationships with many people and groups who are and who have been active in the general air quality arena here in California.
The partnership that CAS has created with Sustainable Conservation and the tremendously successful working relationship that Ladi and Mike have forged together have been quite instrumental in moving strip-tillage forward in California's dairy silage production sector and it is because of the simply pivotal role that the two of them have had in this respect. They are tremendously deserving of this Special CASI Workgroup Service recognition at this time. CASI is proud to bestow our prestigious annual recognition to Ladi Asgill for his efforts in support of our Workgroup's goals.
2016 Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation Center’s Farmer Technical Service and Farmer Service Award – Mike Winemiller
The recipient of the Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation Center's Farmer Technical Support Innovator Award for 2016 is Mike Winemiller.
Mike Winemiller serves as the Customer Account Manager for California Ag Solutions, here in Madera, with a focus on the Faster Forage and Precision Planting Programs of CAS. He studied Agricultural Business and Agronomy at Colorado State University and he grew up on a family-owned farm and ranch where he learned early on about the complete range of day-to-day operations of the family business. He has been instrumental and highly successful in accelerating the adoption of greatly improved forage production systems in the FASTER FORAGE Program of California Ag Solutions that has helped over two dozen farmers successfully convert to strip-till corn production during the past three years. By combining strip-till and advanced planting equipment with targeted plant nutrition, the FASTER FORAGE program gets crops growing quicker and harvested sooner, using less water and with increased yields.
Mike Winemiller is an extremely knowledgeable and simply outstanding teacher when it comes to equipment and in particular, strip-tillage. He has incredible attention to detail and has overcome amazing challenges in having worked with farmers from Escalon in the north to Bakersfield in the south. His conservation agriculture equipment and farm management experienced combined with his High Plains strip-till experience, truly have made the adoption of strip-tillage a success with all California farmers he's worked with.
His role in the successful adoption of strip-tillage corn production among this new cadre of California farmers has been nothing short of monumental.
He is ever-ready to share his experiences and has done so with our Workgroup on a number of occasions. He has been a true farmer technical support innovator and a phenomenal contributor to efforts of the CASI Workgroup through his front-line efforts. for a number of years. We are honored to present the 2016 Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation Center's Farmer Technical Support Innovator Award to Mike Winemiller.
Congratulations, Mike Winemiller!
Winemiller is a very knowledgeable and outstanding teacher when it comes to equipment and in particular, strip-tillage. His conservation agriculture equipment and farm management experience combined with his High Plains strip-till background, have greatly helped enable the successful adoption of strip-tillage with all of the California farmers he's worked with.
In his work with Sustainable Conservation, Asgill has brought great value and recognition to this award-winning environmental organization in recent years. He has bulldogged a number of projects in their diverse portfolio that have been quite useful in terms of both farmer sustainability and environmental benefits. He worked on some of the early research and development related to conservation tillage options for Valley dairy farmers, the incentive-based “BMP Challenge” NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant project here in California with a group from the Midwest, the development of CASI's strategic plan, and the ongoing biennial conservation tillage acreage survey.
More information regarding Asgill and Winemiller, CASI's 2016 Farmer Support Innovator Awardees, is available at the CASI website http://casi.ucanr.edu/ . Two additional innovator award ceremonies will take place later this year in Orland and in Tulare.