Soil health workshop with renowned soil scientist Jill Clapperton – Aug. 29, Shenandoah

For Release: August 9, 2017


Tamsyn Jones | Outreach & Publications Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | tamsyn@practicalfarmers.org

SHENANDOAH, Iowa — Chris and Janenne Teachout are on a mission to rebuild their farm’s soil. The couple raise corn, soybeans and small grains on about 1,800 acres near Shenandoah. They have been no-tilling for more than 20 years and use cover crops extensively on their Fremont County farm.

“We’re trying to stimulate the biology of the soil,” Chris says. “Good cover crops and taking care of your soil will produce some really good crops.”

As part of their quest to deepen their understanding of soil health, the Teachouts have invited internationally renowned soil scientist Jill Clapperton, co-founder of Rhizoterra Inc., to lead a workshop and field day on their farm. The event – “A Look at Soil Regeneration With Jill Clapperton” – will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 29, from 1-6 p.m., near Shenandoah (1653 400th Ave. about 5 miles northwest of town), and is being held in partnership with Practical Farmers of Iowa and Green Cover Seed.

The cost is free for Practical Farmers of Iowa members, and $40 for non-members. A catered dinner will be provided, followed by a panel discussion. RSVPs are required. Please contact Debra Boekholder, (515) 232-5661 or debra@practicalfarmers.org, by Friday, Aug. 25. The event is sponsored by Iowa Farmers Union, North Central SARE and Page County Soil and Water Conservation District.

During the first part of the workshop, guests will get to see what soil health looks like in several soil pits on the farm. Chris Teachout will also discuss advanced cover cropping techniques he has tried over the past few years. After dinner, Jill Clapperton will lead a Q&A session and panel discussion with several farmers.

Topics to be covered during the workshop include corn with interseeded cover crops, such as legumes and cowpeas; soybeans planted into a cereal rye cover crop; spring-seeded cover crops; evaluating cereal rye varieties grown for seed; and summer-seeded cover crop mixes after small grains harvest.

“We hope to show different aspects of soil health and how-to examples for starting to implement it, and guests will learn why regenerating our soil is important,” Chris says.

Jill Clapperton is co-founder of and principal scientist at Rhizoterra Inc. Her work focuses on creating and managing healthy soils, and advocating for practices that promote soil health, such as crop rotation and cover crops.

Directions from Shenandoah: Go 2 miles north on U.S. 59 to 170th Street / County Road J26. Turn left (west) and go 2 miles to 400th Avenue / Co Rd M21. Turn right (north) and continue for 0.5 mile; the Teachouts’ farm will be on the left (west) side of road.

From Red Oak: Take U.S. 34 west to U.S. 59 and go south toward Emerson. Continue south through Emerson for about 15 miles to 170th Street / Co Rd J26. Turn right (west) and continue for 2 miles. Turn right (north) on 400th Avenue / Co Rd M21 and go 0.5 mile; the Teachouts’ farm will be on the left (west) side of road.


Practical Farmers of Iowa strengthens farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information-sharing. Our values include: welcoming everyone; creativity, collaboration and community; viable farms now and for future generations; and stewardship and ecology. Founded in 1985, farmers in our network raise corn, soybeans, livestock, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. To learn more, visit https://www.practicalfarmers.org.