Healthier Farms, Healthier Planet

Healthier Farms, Healthier Planet

Bringing together people to discuss progress, innovation, and education is one of the many ways that Wolfe’s Neck Center seeks to make agriculture a solution to climate change. In 2022, we had the distinct honor of facilitating and hosting several educational opportunities for food system leaders and land stewards.  

No Till Event 

In July, we facilitated our first knowledge-sharing event of the season through the Maine Soil Health Network (MSHN), a collaborative network of farmers organized by WNC and Maine Farmland Trust.  The over 70+ attendees learned about MSHN member Stonecipher’s transition from traditional tillage to a no-till vegetable operation. No-till operations reduce the amount of carbon released through plowing and stabilizing soil to increase carbon storage. Farm Networks like MSHN allow us to share our efforts, along with others, to continue teaching climate-smart agricultural practices. 



Pasture Walk with the DGA  

As a committed member of the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program (DGA), we have a strong focus on teaching the best practices needed to run a sustainable, modern dairy. In addition to hosting several apprentices for two-year stints, Wolfe’s Neck Center hosted a pasture walk educational opportunity for members of the DGA. Co-hosted with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, food system leaders like our Dairy Manager Ben Gotschall facilitated educational discussions on rotational grazing, drought impacts, soil health, and more. 


Pasture Ecology School 

Similarly, this summer, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) convened Pasture Ecology School students at Wolfe’s Neck Center to learn about the benefits of rotational grazing. Farmers and Agricultural Service Providers from all over the country came together to learn about dairy grazing best practices and management. This educational event was led by experts from different sectors of agriculture and encouraged participants to share their experiences and knowledge.  



Maine Soil Health Workshop 

Winter is a time of reflection for Maine farmers and an opportunity to learn, plan, and look ahead to the upcoming season. As the soil sampling season closes, we took the opportunity to bring Maine Soil Health Network farmers together at the Ecology School in Saco. This event was a great opportunity for farmers to share out season highlights and brainstorm implementing new soil health building practices for next year.  We loved gathering and catching up as the network grows. 

Looking ahead to 2023, we have lots of fun and engaging events we are working on. Here are just a few! 

  • January 5thimate adaptation planning workshop with MFT and UMaine at Viles Arboretum 
  • January 20th – 21st: Northeast Grazing and Livestock Conference | virtual | We are proud to organize and coordinate this regional workshop. Major partners include members of the New England Grazing Network (technical service providers, and livestock grazier-serving organizations across all New England states. 
  • …more events with the Smith Center coming online next spring! 
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