Agricultural Resilience Clinic with Nicole Masters

Dates: Friday, October 18, 2019 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (registration begins at 8:00 AM on Friday morning) and Saturday, October 19, 2019 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Location: Kerr Wildlife Management Area, 2625 FM 1340, Hunt, TX 78024

Cost: Two-days of lecture and outdoor field study is $130 and includes lunch and refreshments. Both days must be attended to enroll.

The Soil for Water Project is pleased to host New Zealand agroecologist Nicole Masters for two activity-filled days exploring agricultural resilience. In the dynamic and sometimes unforgiving climates of Texas, any agricultural operation needs to be ready to cope with and recover from adversity. By holding more water in the soil and fostering the right soil microbiology we can buffer changes in temperature and mitigate the effects of extreme weather patterns.

Nicole will walk us through how to take a future-focused approach to land management, growing healthy food, and creating robust ecosystems. She’ll address the following questions:

  • How do we build soil structure to improve water and mineral cycles?
  • What is the role of soil microbes in pasture quality and resiliency?
  • What are your weeds telling you?
  • How do we manage weeds, disease, and insects?
  • How do we shift from invasive grasses to native grasses?
  • How does adaptive multi-paddock grazing encourage resiliency?
  • What monitoring strategies can we use to be sure we are making improvement and moving towards our goals?
  • How can we reduce the need for chemical inputs without reducing yields?

Besides learning from Nicole, you’ll hear from land managers participating in current Soil for Water research trials, talking about regenerative methods they are trying and the results they are seeing. A panel discussion with Q & A will follow. You’ll also learn the Bullseye method of pasture monitoring from Kathy Harris of Holistic Management International (HMI), with an opportunity to practice this method in the field with HMI Certified Educators as your guides.

Nicole Masters is an independent agroecologist, systems thinker, and educator. She has a formal background in ecology, soil science, and organizational learning, has been providing agricultural consulting and extension services since 2000, and is recognized worldwide as a knowledgeable and dynamic speaker on the topic of soil health. With her team of soil coaches at Integrity Soils, Nicole works alongside farmers and ranchers in the U.S., Canada, and across Australasia: supporting producers who are taking their operations to the next level in quality food production, nutrient density, profitability, and environmental outcomes.

Day One Agricultural Resilience Clinic Agenda
8:30 Registrations
Morning refreshments served
9:00 -9:30 Welcome
NCAT – Soil for Water, Kara Kroeger
Kerr Wildlife Management Area, Ryan Reitz
Hill Country Alliance, Daniel Oppenheimer
9:30-10:30 Ranching for Resilience
What products are you ranching for?
Overview of why soil health is important
Case study in action
10:30-10:45 Group Activity
Sol health indicators
10:45-11:00 Break
11:00-12:30 Plant Health Indicators
Status of soil losses
Bacteria and fungi
Quorum sensing
Limiting factors

The Carbon Cycle
Sunlight capture and photosynthesis
The benefits of carbon and how to build it

Group Activity

12:30 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30-3:00 Creating the Soil Sponge
Slake test (soil stability indicator)
Water cycles
Optimizing and measuring water
Temperature
3:00-3:15 Afternoon Refreshments
3:15 -5:00 Who Are You Ranching For?
Weeds, diseases, and insects

Group Activity and Discussions
a. What are our limiting factors? How can we practically address those issues?
b. What are the costs of not looking after soil health?

Day 2 Agricultural Resilience Clinic Agenda
8:30 – 9:30 Welcome and Review
What are your limiting factors?
Split into 2 groups for outdoor field study
9:30-10:00 Break
10:00-12:30 Outdoor Field Study with Nicole – Group 1
Measuring water – “Without measurement there is no management”
Visual soil assessments
Reading your weeds
Identifying nutrient deficiencies in the field

Land Manager Showcase and Outdoor Field Study with HMI – Group 2
Land manager presentations and panel
Bullseye Monitoring Method and field practice with HMI Certified Educators

Infiltration Demonstrations
NRCS

12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-4:00 Outdoor Field Study with Nicole – Group 2
Measuring water – “Without measurement there is no management”
Visual soil assessments
Reading your weeds
Identifying nutrient deficiencies in the field

Land Manager Showcase and Outdoor Field Study with HMI – Group 1
Land manager presentations and panel
Bullseye Monitoring Method and field practice with HMI Certified Educators

4:30-5:00 Summing it all up
Where to start
What actions can be taken right now?

*The agenda above is subject to change. During Day Two we’ll break into two smaller groups that will alternate between the morning and afternoon sessions to allow closer and more personal interactions.

 

What you Need to be Prepared:
Day Two will be spent out in the field come rain or shine. Please be prepared for hot, cold, or inclement weather. We suggest you bring a water vessel large enough to supply water for 3-hour increments, rain gear, hats, sunscreen, etc.

Lodging
Lodging options for the event are limited. Hunt, Texas is a beautiful area along the Guadalupe River that is frequented at this time of the year for recreation. We suggested you book as soon as possible to secure lodging within a short drive from the Kerr Wildlife Management Area (KWMA). Additional lodging is available in Ingram and Kerrville, both a 30-40 minute drive from KWMA.

Mo-Ranch – Hunt, Texas

Watermark by Wyndam – Hunt, TX

Casita Blu Cabins – Ingram, TX

Waltonia Lodges – Ingram, TX

Hunter House Inn & Suites – Ingram, TX

Inn of the Hills Hotel – Kerrville, TX

Hunt Store Social Dinner
On the evening of Friday, October 18th, we’ll be hosting a social gathering and dinner at The Hunt Store, located in the town of Hunt, TX (a 12 mile drive from KWMA). There will be a cash bar, and a buffet wild game dinner will be served. The cost per person is $35.

Click here to register