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The Soil Revolution

Thursday, December 19, 2019
7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Boulder, Colorado

Inviting Farmers and Ranchers of all scales and production systems

Join us for the fourth annual Soil Revolution Conference.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Speakers include:
Dan DeSutter
Jim Dolezal
Helen Atthowe
Steve Charter
Elizabeth Black

CCA Credits Available


 7:00am -  8:00am

Registration and Breakfast

 8:00am -  8:15am

Opening Remarks

 8:15am -  9:15am

Adventures in Regenerative Farming: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Dan DeSutter

Dan DeSutter

Dan will discuss challenges and successes of economics, pest pressures, and market differentiation as they transition their no-till/cover crop system into organic production using the five principles of soil health as their roadmap. Read More…

 9:15am -  9:45am

Exhibitor Introductions

 9:45am -  9:50am

Soil Your Undies Demo

Healthy soil is full of life. Knowing how much biological activity is in your soil is an important step to understanding your soil health. With proper management, the ground beneath your crops should teem with millions of tiny lifeforms – bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, arthropods, earthworms – all busy transferring nutrients, eating and decomposing organic material through nutrient cycling in processes that help plants thrive. A simple test helps measure this. We buried 100% cotton briefs in the ground for two months. Lifeless soil kept the tighty-whities intact, whereas organically thriving soil ate away at the briefs. See the results from different management systems from across Boulder County.

 9:50am - 10:15am


10:15am - 11:05am

Building Resiliency and the Triple Bottom Line on Your Farm with Organic Matter

Kevin & Keri Schilthuis

Kevin Schilthuis

Kevin will cover the evolution of his family’s farm from rundown ground with 1% organic matter to verdant fields with 6% organic matter. He will discuss the aggressive tactics he and his family took to add organic matter back to the soil quickly, as well as the setbacks, the successes and how valuing organic matter and soil health can work to increase the resiliency of an operation. Read More…

11:05am - 12:00pm

No Water? No Problem! Jumpstarting Your Biological Activity on Rangeland

Steve Charter

Steve Charter

Steve will address how to increase your biological activity when you don’t have the rainfall or irrigation water to support traditional methods to improve soil health. Steve will discuss how he got started with on-farm composting and holistic resource management, the benefits he has observed in terms of yield, resiliency and herd health and how his management strategies continue to evolve in order to best manage soil health in a semi-arid environment. Read More…

12:00pm - 12:45pm


12:45pm -  1:30pm

Local Updates

  • Kate Greenberg, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture
  • Phil Taylor, Mad Ag
  • Lauren Kolb, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Soil Health Coordinator
  • Vanessa McCracken, Boulder County Agricultural Resources Specialist
  • Elizabeth Black, Citizen Science Soil Health Project
 1:30pm -  1:45pm

Infiltration Demonstration

Elizabeth Black

Elizabeth Black

Elizabeth will run a water infiltration test on two different local soils. Using Valmont cobbly clay samples from two neighboring vegetable gardens with different tillage regimens, she will demonstrate how rainfall infiltrates at different rates into soil, depending on how that soil has been managed. Read More…

 1:45pm -  2:45pm

Practical Methods for Healthy Soils on Diversified Vegetable Farms

Helen Atthowe

Helen Atthowe

Helen will discuss he boundary-pushing efforts used to build soil health in vegetable and fruit production systems, including her evolution towards a low-input, labor-saving, soil- and habitat-building farm system, and how she employs carbon farming, reduced tillage/no-tillage, permanent living mulches and “grow-your-own-fertilizer.” Helen will also cover how she trials these new methods and how she evaluates the return on investment. Read More…

 2:45pm -  3:15pm


 3:15pm -  3:45pm

Cover Cropping for Sustainability: My Story

Jim Dolezal

Jim Dolezal

This is my story of how introducing cover crops to our operation is helping move us toward a sustainable system both on the land and economically. It is a work in progress, things are always changing, but our goal remains the same: Sustainability. Read More…

 3:45pm -  4:30pm

Panel Discussion with Dan DeSutter, Steve Charter, Kevin Schilthuis, & Helen Atthowe

 4:30pm -  5:30pm

Social Hour


Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Credits Available

Tickets and payments are handled through Eventbrite


Boulder JCC
6007 Oreg Ave
Boulder, CO 80303

Parking lot is accessed from Arapahoe Ave/Hwy 7 and Cherryvale Rd.


The Boulder Marriott has arranged special room rates starting at $131/night.

Boulder Marriott
2660 Canyon Boulevard
Boulder, CO 80302

Reserve a Room

Boulder Marriot

Sponsors & Exhibitors

If you are interested in being a sponsor or exhibitor, please email Vanessa McCracken.

City of Boulder

Platinum Sponsor

Boulder County Parks & Open Space

Platinum Sponsor


Platinum Sponsor

Colorado State University Extension Services

Gold Sponsor

4Rivers Equipment

Silver Sponsor

Boulder Open Space Conservancy

Silver Sponsor

Boulder County Farmers Markets

Bronze Sponsor

Buffalo Brand Seeds

Bronze Sponsor

City of Longmont

Bronze Sponsor

Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association

Bronze Sponsor


Bronze Sponsor

Green Cover Seed

Bronze Sponsor

Northern Water

Bronze Sponsor

Pawnee Buttes Seed Inc.

Bronze Sponsor

Slow Opportunities for Investing Locally (SOIL)

Bronze Sponsor


Bronze Sponsor

United Power

Bronze Sponsor


Bronze Sponsor


The Soil Revolution Conference is brought to you by:

Boulder County Parks & Open Space
City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Colorado State University Extension Services
Longmont & Boulder Valley Conservation Districts

Speakers & Presenters