The takeaway from 2020 for me has been that we are stronger together than apart. Agriculture, by its necessity, impacts everyone, every day. That means we need everyone around the table to set a course to a future where everyone benefits from conservation. CTIC has been and will continue to be a community where all are welcome, but 2020 demonstrated that it takes work to ensure that everyone is invited.
I’m proud of how our team has persevered through 2020. They have engaged with new technologies, trained in critical areas, and maintained and developed new relationships through it all. Currently, we are working with many of our members to lay the foundation for new partnerships that will lead us through 2021 and into our 40th anniversary year in 2022.
Meanwhile, we and our partners are making inroads to develop a market-based mechanism to compensate farmers for reducing phosphorus levels in the waterways of the Western Lake Erie Basin.
With other partners, we are getting ready to release an expanded data set from our Operational Tillage Information System (OpTIS). In addition to expanding the geography and adding another year of data, we are fine-tuning it to make OpTIS data a mainstay of evaluating changes in tillage and cover crop practices across a growing expanse of the Corn Belt.
We are constantly finding new ways to share information on cover crops, soil health, conservation practices from deep in the field to the edges of fields, as well as how conservation systems affect nitrogen and carbon cycles. Whether it's through webinars, online outlets or appropriately distanced live events, we will use all the tools at our disposal to keep people informed and engaged.
And we are always exploring the big questions around conservation farming practices in a changing climate, making sure we can help farmers, policy makers and everyone in between navigate a course that is both economically and environmentally sustainable into the future.
As always, we appreciate our members and partners. We are glad you are with us on this journey. If you have not yet joined or renewed your membership, please do so today. And if you have kept your membership current, fasten your seatbelt: 2021 is already shaping up to be a busy and exciting year!
Enjoy the day,
Mike Komp, Executive Director