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#RootsNotIron: A Southwestern Ontario Farmer's Perspective on Soil Health

"The hospitality that typical people afford me from Wisconsin was second to none per usual", says Ontario, Canadian no-till and cover crop farmer Blake Vince during a follow up conversation with him after his tour in Wisconsin. Vince made stops in Chilton, Baraboo, Juneau, Port Washington, and Albany during his visit to share his knowledge about the importance of soil health.

On February 8th Vince arrived to the Lepanto Banquet Hall enthusiastic and ready to learn. Sure, he may have been there to provide his knowledge about soil health in a similarly compared climate to Wisconsin, but his enthusiasm to learn about what others here are doing was as energetic as his presentation.

During the morning session a wide variety of informative topics were covered, including managing for your own resiliency, Return On Investment (or Retire On Island as Vince jokes in his opening slide), the importance of traveling and mentorship, the advantages of learning from your mistakes, and reforming the hierarchy of communication.

The afternoon session focused on the importance of networking. Much to the confusion of all, Vince asked everyone to stand and go to a new table with peers they didn't know. What better way to showcase networking than to make the attendees do just that! Great discussions were had by all with a wealth of knowledge shared by each group on what they learned from each table mate.

"Great speaker- lots of opportunity to engage with speaker and others", "Excellent presentation", "Good event- keep getting good speakers to come in", "Good things/topics to apply to future of farm". These were just some of the amazing reviews that came in after the event ended.

With total attendance at 67, we are excited to see such enthusiasm for soil health conservation practices in Ozaukee County and the surrounding areas! Thank you to all in attendance, to those that helped make the event successful, and especially Blake Vince for his memorable presentation!

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