The Premier Soil Health event is for farmers by farmers.  The Minnesota Soil Health Coalition brings national, regional and local soil health experts together to provide farmers and ranchers information they can use to improve their operations.  Network with other farmers, network with farmer mentors and learn from long time soil health practitioners.

DATE: December 5-6, 2023
TIME: 9am-3pm
LOCATION: Mankato, Minnesota


Hotel information:

Hilton Garden Inn - Mankato

20 Civic Center Plaza
Mankato, MN, 56001
Phone: 507-344-1111
Room Block: Minnesota Soil Health Coalition
(call-in reservations only for group discount)

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mankato East Garden Inn - Mankato

2051 Adams Street
Mankato, MN, 56001
Phone: 507-388-1880
Room Block: Minnesota Soil Health Coalition
or reserve online at using group code MNS


General Mills

General Mills stands for good – for the people we serve, the brands you love and the planet we depend on. For more than 150 years, General Mills has believed doing good and good business go hand-in-hand. The company is putting people first by improving food security and advancing a culture of inclusion, equity and belonging, and by creating positive planetary outcomes through actions beyond its walls. Learn more at

Premier Sponsors

Soil Regen

Soil Regen is a farmer first company focused on providing farmers, ranchers, and the food and agricultural community education, Regeneratively Grown™ and Regenerative Verified™ verification, regenerative agriculture and soil health consulting and research and design.  We rebel against the "farm the farmer" mentality and are dedicated to providing the resources farmers need to be profitable all the while improving the land.

La Crosse Seed

La Crosse Seed has paired an unmatched portfolio of high quality forage, cover crop and turf seed with knowledgeable and experienced sales and support staff since 1919. We distribute premium seed and related products through dealers across the Midwest and beyond.  La Crosse Seed has become a trusted industry leader by offering the best available products, service and support to create a complete, one stop solution for ag and turf retailers nationwide. We are proud to provide you the “seed you need, when you need it”.  In addition to unmatched support and logistics, we partner with top breeders to continually deliver new and innovative seed solutions to maximize quality and profit potential.

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is a global environmental nonprofit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive.  Founded in the U.S. through grassroots action in 1951, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than a million members and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff and over 400 scientists, we impact conservation in 79 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 42 through partners.


It’s been over 155 years since growers and sellers started coming together in Cargill's first grain warehouse. These days, we connect people around the world. But we keep things local. Only by building trusting relationships with a range of partners can we fulfil our purpose: to nourish the world in a safe, responsible, sustainable way.  Today, the need to make our food system more sustainable and resilient is urgent. From our seat at the center of the agricultural supply chain, we have a unique ability — and responsibility — to help. Now is the moment. And our global team is heeding the call, innovating with purpose to empower our partners and communities.  We’re working with farmers to increase regenerative agriculture and reduce environmental impact. We’re creating everyday earth-friendly items, like feed that reduces methane emissions and waste-based renewable fuels. And we’re harnessing the power of technology, using artificial intelligence to keep animals healthier while making producers more productive.  As we envision the future we can create together, we reflect on the values that have steered us from the start. We put people first. We reach higher. We do the right thing — so our customers can succeed, and our communities thrive. It’s a long-term view that guides us to listen, adapt and remain resilient as the world sprints forward.  It’s also how we’ll meet the changing needs of the people we call neighbors and the planet we call home — today and for generations to come.


As the USDA’s primary private lands conservation agency, we generate, manage, and share the data, technology, and standards that enable partners and policymakers to make decisions informed by objective, reliable science.  And through one-on-one, personalized advice, we work voluntarily with producers and communities to find the best solutions to meet their unique conservation and business goals. By doing so, we help address climate change and ensure the long-term sustainability of American agriculture. We’re also focused on the American farmer, especially those underserved by our programs as well as those trying to break into new markets, like organics.


As one of the world’s largest nutrition companies, ADM is a leader in both human and animal nutrition. We unlock the power of nature and transform crops into ingredients and solutions for foods, beverages and supplements for people all around the world, and we provide a complete range of solutions and services for livestock, aquaculture and pets.

Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program

The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead in implementing conservation practices that protect our water. Those who implement and maintain approved farm management practices will be certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of ten years.

BW Fusion

BW Fusion is a family-owned company that is committed to educating farmers and helping them find success. We are "Leaders in the Field" and we use the "BW Fusion Difference" to provide the best people, products, and proof in the agriculture industry.

Sure Flex Hybrids

Sure Flex Hybrids offers a wide range of hybrids to meet your farm operation needs. SureFlex offers time-tested and proven genetics with a lower price tag. In the 2024 growing season, Sureflex Hybrids conducted over 300 stand counts and we confirmed that our quality is second to none at 97.2% germination.

Member Sponsors

Audubon Society

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation.

University of Minnesota

The Minnesota Office for Soil Health works towards healthy farms and ecosystems by delivering soil education, promoting grower networks, and researching best practices. The Minnesota Office for Soil Health was formed in 2017, as a collaboration between the Board of Water and Soil Resources and the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center. Our mission is to protect and improve soil resources and water quality by developing the knowledge, skills and abilities of local experts to more effectively promote sustainable soil and land management.

Renovo Seed

Renovo Seed leads the seed industry as a visionary in positive land use solutions. We offer a robust seed lineup and an unmatched team of experts who design practical, tailored solutions to improve the resiliency of your land and business for generations to come. Backed by Millborn’s powerful supply chain and streamlined logistics, we strive to make your seed choices simple, and the ease of doing business even simpler.  Renovo Seed services seed dealers, distributors, ag retailers, farmers, and ranchers nationwide. Our growing network of dealers are strategically positioned to provide local, hands-on support and easy access to our pre-built, proven to work seed mixes. There’s no land-use problem too big or small for our seed mavericks.

Regen Ag Labs

Regen Ag Lab was established in 2019 on the foundation of providing accurate, reliable and impactful analytical testing services surrounding the principles of soil health and regenerative agriculture.  We are located just north of Pleasanton, NE along US Hwy 10 in the heart of Nebraska.  Regen Ag Lab is co-owned and operated by Lance Gunderson, an expert on the Haney and PLFA tests with nearly 10 years of experience reviewing over 50,000 samples, and Jeremy Dalland, who has 13 years of management experience operating a commercial agricultural lab.  While we are establishing a new business, the Regen Ag Lab family has nearly 100 years of combined experience as previous co-workers in a commercial agricultural laboratory.

Exhibit Sponsors

Dakota Bio

Dakota Bio believes that soil microbiology creates more efficient plants, healthy soil, and increased nutrient efficiency all leading to increased yields. Supporting profitable farms and nutrition goes hand in hand. This is why Dakota Bio has created a full line of biological products to deliver nutrients, increase nutrient efficiency and help your crops combat stress and increase yields and profits.

Superior Cannabis

The mission of Superior Cannabis is to provide premium CBD products and USDA-certified organic hemp that helps people and animals feel their best. From our farm in Austin, Minnesota, we’re dedicated to sharing our passion for high quality CBD products with our community.
We use every product in our store before placing it on our shelves. CBD worked for us, which is why we want to help it work for you. Start shopping today.
Our licensed family owned farms are Organic and Regenerative and our store is a great place when you're looking for all things Cannabis L (industrial hemp). Our premium USDA Certified Organic Hemp is grown and produced right here in Southern Minnesota. We have a large selection of hemp flower and premium CBD products to help with pain, sleep, anxiety, skin conditions and workout recovery, etc. as well as a great selection of quality clothing, vapes, pipes, and accessories.

Farm Rescue

The mission of Farm Rescue is to help family farms and ranches bridge crises so they have an opportunity to continue viable operations. Farm Rescue provides planting, haying, harvesting, commodity hauling and livestock feeding assistance to farm and ranch families that have experienced a major injury, illness or natural disaster. We have assisted more than 1,000 farm and ranch families since our inception in 2005!
We see that one of the biggest financial drains on a family is an unexpected medical injury or illness and, of course, a natural disaster. It is even more pronounced on a farm where a family's livelihood depends on the ability to plant, harvest or provide for their herd. Farm Rescue gives families a chance to continue their livelihood by providing the necessary equipment and manpower (free of charge) to get the job done.

Clean River Partner

Dakota Bio believes that soil microbiology creates more efficient plants, healthy soil, and increased nutrient efficiency all leading to increased yields. Supporting profitable farms and nutrition goes hand in hand. This is why Dakota Bio has created a full line of biological products to deliver nutrients, increase nutrient efficiency and help your crops combat stress and increase yields and profits.

Conservation Technology Information Center

The Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) was formed in 1982 to support the widespread use of economically and environmentally beneficial agricultural systems. Members of CTIC, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, include farmers, policy makers, regulators, academic researchers, agribusiness leaders, conservation group personnel, farm media, and others. The organization is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other public entities. It is our mission to champion, promote and provide information on climate smart technologies and sustainable agricultural systems that conserve and enhance soil, water, air and wildlife resources and are productive and profitable.

Field Theory Foods

Field Theory™ is a foods company brand focused on Regenerative Agriculture, Upcycled Foods and flagship products containing Hemp. Founded in 2016 by John Strohfus, we are a wholly  owned brand of Minnesota Hemp Farms, Inc. which is the largest USA Based Hemp Foods Company.

Saddle Butte

Saddle Butte Ag, Inc is a family owned and operated forage & cover crop seed distribution company, established by Don and Maryanne Wirth. Located in the heart of the Willamette Valley – “Grass Seed Capital of the World”- Saddle Butte Ag, Inc markets a wide variety of both proprietary and common, forage & cover crop products to retail markets as well as national and international wholesale customers. With over 30 years of experience in production, processing, packaging, and shipping: our customers can be assured of the highest quality of seed possible.

Grain Millers

From day one Grain Miller's mission has never changed: To make good things for and with good people.  The ways in which we accomplish this goal have expanded across the continent, been invented and reinvented as needed, and embraced the supply chain more fully than ever. With each step, the roots of our original mission continue to grow. We began in 1986 as a small oat milling company in Oregon. With an eye for finding the right fit at the right time, we have grown steadily ever since. Today, Grain Millers is a leading international agri-business with diversified interests in whole grain manufacturing and merchandising, organic and conventional consumer food products, and the import and export of commodities.

Basil's Harvest

Basil's Harvest engages the power of regional regenerative food systems to promote human and planetary wellbeing. Our work connects farmers, institutions, health systems and businesses to build just and regenerative supply chains. We curate experiential learning programs, oversee collaborative research to expand understanding, and work hands-on with leaders to support them in creating and sustaining more resilient regional food systems.

Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association

Minnesota cattlemen working to defend producers and members of the beef industry within Minnesota is the main objective of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association. We are a grass roots non-profit membership organization advocating on behalf of members to ensure cattle production remains a relevant, safe and sustainable way of life for generations to come. As we look toward the future, it is important for all cattlemen to help protect the vitality of this industry within our state. Member-directed policy provides a voice for Minnesota cattlemen on all public policy issues in front of congress, the state legislature and government agencies. MSCA staff and leadership represents the interests of members, serving in their respected positions, working for cattlemen.

Ag Performance

Ag Performance is a multi-faceted agricultural company based in North Central Iowa. We offer a full line of Seed, Specialty & Organic Products, as well as Crop Insurance and Financial Consulting.
Ag Performance has a network of dealers across Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota; we are also expanding into neighboring states.

Albert Lea Seed

Albert Lea Seed House was founded in 1923 as a family-owned seed store offering field seed, garden seed, and fam supplies. Saturday nights were the big night for sales as famers and their families made their weekly shopping trek into town. Founder Lou Ehrhardt always sharply dressed up in shirt and tie and established a legacy of great customer service.  Our current owners, Tom and Mac Ehrhardt, grandsons of Lou Ehrhardt, currently operate the Seed House where you can still call and talk directly with them. When is the last time you talked with the owner of a huge multi-national seed company? Our legacy of one-on-one customer service is still very important to us.

Agri Spray Drones

Agri Spray Drones was founded with the farmer in mind. Our mission is to bring this technology to rural America and empower farmers and land managers with leading edge drones!

Meet the Speakers


Jay Fuhrer

Menoken Farm

Jay Fuhrer is the lead educator at Menoken Farm near Bismarck, N.D. He has boots on the ground the last 38 years working with cropping systems, grazing systems, cover crops and gardens. Jay also has an extensive background working with groups and entities such as soil and water conservation districts; national and international no-till organizations; watersheds; farm organizations; urban groups; and more. Recently, Jay spends his time at the Menoken Farm minimizing soil disturbance, adding soil armor, maximizing plant diversity, maintaining living roots in the soil and integrating livestock.


Russell Hedrick

Russell is a first-generation farmer in the foothills of Hickory, North Carolina, where he farms JRH Grain Farms, LLC. Russell is known as one of the most progressive young farmers in the country. Russell has been a featured producer in Top Producer Magazine, Furrow Magazine, and on RFD TV, Ag PhD, and National No-till Farmer for profitably farming by reducing fertilizer inputs and using soil health practices on cash crops. In 2017 he won the North Carolina Corn Yield contest, the first person to win in the state using regenerative practices.  Russell's operation focuses on maximizing profits and direct consumer marketing for all their products, including corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, pastures beef and pork. He is the co-founder of Regen Mills and Heritage Ground with Liz, owner of Soil Regen, LLC, and has partnered with Foothills Distillery producing the first bourbon in North Carolina since prohibition. Russell is also the founder of Farmers Reserve Distillery, a farmer owned and operated distillery using regenerative grains to make the finest bourbons, whiskeys and other liquors in the land.

Grant & Dawn Breitkreutz

Grant & Dawn run Stoney Creek Farm along the bluff of the Minnesota River near Redwood Falls, MN. Over the past 20 years, they have converted a conventional crop and cow/calf operation into a multi-enterprise regenerative family business. Their crops have changed from a corn and soybean rotation to at least a three-crop rotation or more, with cover crops incorporated whenever and wherever possible in their 100% no-till cropping system. Cattle are grazed across nearly every acre throughout the year.  They use adaptive grazing throughout their pasture systems and they now can graze much longer, with more head than ever before.

Their overall goal is to heal the land, create a successful and enjoyable multi-generational family business, and ensure that future generations have a beautiful legacy to carry on the family farm.  They have received numerous awards in the past years for their conservation efforts.  They received their MN Ag Water Quality Certification in 2016 and are farmer mentors.


Lance Klessig

As a regenerative agriculture advocate, Lance enthusiastically works alongside Midwest farmers who are implementing the soil health principles on their farms.
Lance enjoys helping farmers be more profitable while improving their soils and communities.  He is a Certified Crop Advisor and has spent much of his career helping people understand how soils, plants, livestock and our precious water resources interact.  His past professional positions include working for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, a county land conservation department as well as a non-profit agriculture and conservation organization in Wisconsin. Lance has acquired many engineering, design and construction competencies, is a certified conservation planner and previous certified grazing planner.

He and his wife, Chrissy, and their 5 children, direct market products from their farm, Heart & Soil Ridge located near Dakota, MN. They also provide on farm lodging and offer numerous experiences with their grazed animals and fields of pollinators and cover crops.  Passionate about his family, faith, and our natural resources, Lance loves to learn and has been known to carry a shovel with him wherever he travels.


Tom Cotter

Tom is a fourth-generation farmer from southern Minnesota. In 1875 the land was first plowed and had continued in one way or another for the next 140 years. Tom grew up doing full tillage on all their acres. In the late 1990’s Tom’s Dad bought a tile pile and started trying Cover Crops. That is when Tom and his Dad Mike's journey began, 4 feet below the surface. The differences in the soil was drastic from covered fields compared to full tillage fields. They started putting cover crops on all canning crop fields only.  During the early 2000’s they had success and failures with covers and really had nowhere to look for help. He was only planting Winter Rye as his cover and terminating with tillage. In 2010 he bought a used strip till bar to try and reduce his tillage practices. When he put reduced tillage, cover crops and livestock grazing together, soil health exploded. Nowadays he uses large multi species cocktails after canning crops, Interseeds 4-8 species into his corn in mid-June and grazes every acre.  They were the first to get MN Ag Water Quality Certification in Mower county in 2016. Cover crops have also helped him to transition some acres to organic cash crops and grass fed beef. When he is not raising corn, soybeans, sweet corn, peas, alfalfa and oats he is out promoting soil health. He has spoken at many events in Minnesota and Iowa as well as the national scene at the National No-Till and Strip Till Conference.  Tom’s father was a nationally known Story teller and always said “Everybody has a Story to tell”. Tom is carrying on the tradition and sharing his story of soil health.

Jared Knock

Jared Knock

Jared and his wife Kati live near Carpenter, SD on a farm with their three daughters Millie(6), Ansley (4), and Alicyn (2).   Jared and Kati started a diverse set of enterprises to establish their place on the South Dakota Prairie.  Their livestock enterprises including a commercial cow/calf herd, a commercial ewe flock, and ownership-management of a contract hog feeding site.  Jared and Kati moved back to South Dakota after working in the livestock genetics industry with Trans Ova Genetics in Iowa and Montana for five years after college.  That's also when they founded Dakota Vision Ag, Inc.(DVA) a company that they operate near their home in Carpenter, SD.  DVA is a regional provider of DUPONT PIONEER Brand Seed, ABS Global Beef Genetics, and a full spectrum of cover crop, grass, and annual forage seed through Millborn Seeds. In addition to being distributors for these companies, Dakota Vision Ag, Inc. works with Jared’s brother’s veterinary clinic (Prairie View Vet Clinic) offering veterinary products and services ranging from basic herd health work to bovine embryo transfer services.  Jared has a deep passion for and has had first-hand experience with many types of agriculture development projects. He has spent time studying or working as an agriculture consultant in eight foreign countries, predominantly in China.  Jared graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in Animal Science in 2007.  During his college years he was a SD State FFA Officer, a member of the 2004 Meats Judging Team, a member of the 2005 General Livestock Judging Team, and spent a semester studying at China Agriculture University in Beijing, China.  Jared is a graduate of South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership Program and was a Final Four Competitor in the American Farm Bureau Federation National Discussion Meet.

Jon Stevens

Jon Stevens

Jon and his wife and are the operators and owners of Maple Grove farms out of Rock Creek Minnesota. Jon is a 5th generation farmer that is starting on his own from scratch.  He is passionate about soil health, farmers being good stewards of the land and communicating how farms work to non farmers.


Phil Smith

Philip and Robin Smith have been farming since 1980 and currently own and operate the land that was homesteaded by Philip’s great-great-grandparents in 1868. The couple raised their family of four daughters on the farm. Over the years, the Smiths grew corn, soybeans and small grains. They also raised alfalfa in the past when the family had sheep, cattle, and chickens. Since 1997, the Smiths have owned a seed business located in Sacred Heart with another location in Bird Island added in 2013. Robin has operated a cleaning business in the area for over 30 years. The family’s current farm includes 800 acres of corn, soybeans and winter cereal rye. Over the past five years, the farm has been converted into a regenerative farm that focuses on soil health, conservation, stewardship, and a healthy ecosystem. The operation is all no-till and includes extensive use of year-round cover crops.  The Smiths are very involved in their community. Philip is vice president of the Renville County Soil and Water Conservation Board and serves on the stewardship committee of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. In the past, he has devoted his time to the Sacred Heart Jaycees and the BDRSH/RCW school board. Philip is a public speaker with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Robin has been involved in the Sacred Heart Women’s Club and the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Smiths contribute their time and energies to promoting regenerative agriculture and the production of nutrient-dense food.

Mitchell Hora

Mitchell Hora

Mitchell is a 7th-generation Iowa farmer and the Founder/CEO of Continuum Ag, a soil health data intelligence company. Continuum works with enterprise level partners to help them implement regenerative ag practices throughout their supply chain or portfolio. Via the expansion of their TopSoil Tool, the group has amassed a footprint of 42 states and 20 countries and now houses the largest, private soil health database. For his efforts, Mitchell has been named to the AgGrad 30 Under 30 list and to the Forbes Under 30 list.

Jordan Myer

Jordan & Rachelle Myer

Jordan and Rachelle currently manage about 400 acres of open pasture land for cattle, 300 acres of woods for meat goat production, and about 460 acres of row crop/hay production. They practice adaptive managed grazing with cow/calf pairs, owned stockers, and goats. Raise pastured pork mostly in wooded areas while strategically moving them around to manage invasive specifies such as multi-flora rose and also raise pastured poultry. They recently bought into the family dairy to do more managed grazing as well. On the crop side, they currently raise corn, soybeans, hay, and cover crops either before, after, or during cash crops and have also done full-season cover crop mixes for grazing while in transition to organic.
John Strohfus

John Strohfus

John Strohfus is the Founder and CEO of Minnesota Hemp Farms, Inc. (dba Field Theory Foods) based in Hastings, MN.  He is a farmer and marketer of food ingredient products in bulk wholesale channels as well as the retail brand Field Theory™.

John was a graduate of St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and minor in Information Technology.  Prior to founding Minnesota Hemp Farms and Field Theory™ he spent 19 years in business working for the world leading technology consulting company Accenture.

John has been involved in Agriculture his entire life and comes from a small farm operation raising American Quarter Horses, Beef Cattle, Alfalfa, Corn, Soybeans, Sunflowers plus other specialty crops.  Since 2016 he has also raised Hemp.

Since 2016 John has helped build out the Supply Chain logistics for Hemp in the United States Food market.  He enjoys working with farmers of all crops to create unique value-add direct markets for their production.

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