Jay Fuhrer is a Conservationist & veteran Soil Health Specialist from the Natural Resources Conservation Services, located out of Bismarck, North Dakota. With over 4 decades of experience, Jay’s work has been critical to the widespread implementation of regenerative agriculture across the globe. Of his many contributions, Jay is most known for developing the 5 Soil Health Principles: establishing soil armor, minimizing soil disturbance, continuing live plant and root presence, and integrating livestock grazing systems.
Throughout their conversation, Jay and John discuss:
- Jay’s early years at the NRCS, and his desire to move forward with agriculture’s best interest at heart.
- The story of how Jay and his colleagues started a 150-acre demonstration farm with a focus on natural resource education.
- Examples of new research and discoveries being made at Menoken Farm, including the implications of water hydrology systems and the power of encouraging soil biology.
- Jay’s observations from conducting Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis and measuring infiltration rates over the years.
- Assisting growers by “starting with the geology” and how Jay’s soil recommendations are rooted in the history of the land.
- Proper livestock integration and the benefits of diversity when it comes to grazing.
- The shortcomings of agricultural system labels and Jay’s reasoning for working with growers of all backgrounds.
- Jay’s concerns with shrinking native range land in the Dakotas and why he believes it is an ecosystem that we should maintain into the future.