Soil Health Academy returns to New Mexico

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Feb. 11-13, 2020: Regenerative ag school offers soil, profit-improving opportunities for irrigated orchard, vegetable crop producers

Soil health-focused, regenerative agriculture has become increasingly popular among commodity crop producers, but the adoption of soil health practices in irrigated orchard and vegetable crop production presents some unique challenges, as well as many unique opportunities, according to Ray Archuleta, Soil Health Academy co-founder and instructor.

During a three-day, on-farm SHA school Feb. 11-13 in Las Lunas, Archuleta, along with Gabe Brown, Shane New, Rudy Garcia, and other technical consultants will provide irrigated orchard and vegetable crop growers with a practical roadmap for implementing soil- and profit-improving regenerative agriculture principles. SHA’s instructors are widely considered to be among the most preeminent pioneers, innovators and advocates in today’s soil health and regenerative agricultural movement. 

Ray Archuleta, seen here conducting a water infiltration demonstration for a group of farmers and ranchers at a recent SHA event in Los Lunas, will be among the cadre of preeminent instructors who will be teaching the three-day course.

Specifically, Archuleta said attendees at the Las Lunas school will learn…

  • How to increase profitability by reducing synthetic nutrients and pesticides ;
  • How to reduce irrigation water use; 
  • How to remediate saline/sodic soils; and 
  • How to use the six principles of healthy soil to increase profitability. 

According to Archuleta, those who have attended previous SHA schools consistently report accruing almost immediate results when apply regenerative agriculture principles in their operations including reducing production input costs, improving farm profitability and improving their overall quality of life.

“In a very short period of time, those implementing the regenerative principles we teach will see improved water infiltration rates, reduced erosion, greater weather resilience, enhanced soil biology and increased soil organic matter and carbon,” Archuleta said. “All of those soil function improvements will lead to a healthier bottom line.”

Healthy soil, healthy food. Healthy, proper-functioning soil is the key to efficient irrigation, healthy plants, nutrient-dense food and increased profits, which will be the focus of the upcoming regenerative ag school. (SHA photo by Ron Nichols.)

SHA is also offering scholarships for qualifying farmers who want to attend and is placing special emphasis on providing assistance to historically underserved groups.  Archuleta said scholarships will be awarded based on the applicant’s financial need, willingness to share his or her knowledge and experience with other farmers and ranchers. Prospective applicants can complete the on-line application by visiting” 

“Our primary goal through the school is to help farmers first understand, and then successfully apply, nature’s regenerative agriculture principles in order to grow healthier soil, food, profits and communities,” Archuleta said. “Nature gives us the tools. Our expert instructors will show farmers how to use them successfully.”

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