In February Dr. Abbey Wick and I had the chance to attend a really unique event you may have heard of called Agronomy on Ice. This is an annual event on Devils Lake, North Dakota. Picture several ice houses and hundreds of people on a frozen lake in below zero temperatures who all just want to talk about agriculture and have a great time, and you’ll have the basic idea.
“If you've ever been to an ag show and they have booths and you walk down the alleys and you can stop and talk to people, think of that same concept only you're on a lake in North Dakota, in February, and instead of booths, you're in an ice house…..And the whole point is to treat it like a meeting, you come in see what is in the house and you start making connections.” - Jason Hanson
The folks at Anheuser Busch were kind enough to let us set up shop in their ice house and host a series of casual conversations about soil health. We hear a few highlights from three of those conversations in this episode, which include Agronomy On Ice founder and Rock’N Roll Agronomy independent agronomist Jason Hanson, his Agronomist Happy Hour podcast co-host, Kyle Okke, the one and only Shark Farmer Rob Sharkey, Anheuser Busch Agronomy Manager Nikki Bylin, and Scott Bylin who farms in Northeast North Dakota also happens to be Nikki’s husband. The day was filled with laughter, great conversation, food, and a whole lot of fun.
“It's absolutely great. It's one of those things that's hard to explain...You look at it from the outside and you say, we're drinking beer, we're eating food. It looks like you're tailgating. I don't really see a lot of handouts or actual seminars... but the reality is you show up and you start meeting people, you start talking and you get into conversations…You make connections with people. You probably wouldn't have made in other settings and you probably learn more than you realize.” - Kyle Okke
Throughout the day, we kept having people like Jason and Kyle pop in and sit down with us for a few minutes to talk about soil in their areas. Because as we know everyone's area and farm is unique. Our speakers shared what soil health means to their operation and customers.
“Soil health is everything and it means a lot of things.….if you're not paying attention to your soil health, and you're not doing things to maintain good soils and good land, you're going to fall behind and you're not going to be profitable. You’re not even going to be economically sustainable at where crop prices are.” - Kyle Okke
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