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AFT Southeast Regional Advanced Soil Health Training Application Now Open

We are thrilled to announce that applications to AFT’s Southeast Regional Advanced Soil Health Training (ASHT) are now open! (Please click on this link to access the application). The Advanced Soil Health Training (ASHT) program is designed for farmers and farm advisors who share an interest in improving soil health and who will share their expertise with their clients, communities, and the next generation of farmers. We are excited to bring you the best in agricultural education through our expert trainers, and to give you the tools to grow your own learning and to inspire change within your networks. The hands-on curriculum combines classroom time with all-day visits to innovative local demonstration farms to see soil health practices in action. The date and location for this first session is July 30-31stin Raleigh, North Carolina with further dates to be announced shortly! Our Southeast ASHT training will include 4 sessions, meeting in Summer 2024-Winter 2025. Sign up now to secure a spot!

Our expert trainers (Barry Fisher, Brandon Smith, and Dennis Chessman) have each had long careers with NRCS, including as regional team leaders in the Soil Health Division, and have worked in soil health education for decades. The training will address practical management challenges such as cropping systems for soil health; how to do a soil health assessment; cover crop management, (including selection, planting, termination, equipment, and more); new technologies, assessments, and products for soil health; and economic considerations. In addition to a certificate of completion, participants will graduate with a completed Soil Health Impact Plan, and resources for mentoring others in soil health practices. The training includes a strong focus on mentorship, with modules dedicated to building and sustaining a network of farmers and mentees.

This training is free of charge for all successful applicants and includes a travel stipend to cover costs for selected participants (farmers and selected farm advisors). Through this in-person training, you will have direct access to high-level trainers who can answer your real-world management concerns as well as the opportunity to build relationships with a cohort of 30-35 participants, facilitators, and speakers who have unique expertise and experiences with soil health and agriculture. Farmers and farm advisors who choose to continue working as Soil Health Advisors will also receive a stipend for their ongoing work with project partners.

For more information about what we are looking for in an applicant, please read the Application Guidelines (attached). We are aiming to attract a wide and diverse applicant pool; please share the information about this training with anyone who might be interested.

This training is sponsored by the USDA Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities grant led by Truterra/Land O’ Lake and American Farmland Trust is partnering to lead this component focusing on advanced training and scale up of adoption by catalyzing farmer mentorship networks.


Dr. Courtney Owens

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The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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