Jon Stika is an agronomist and former soil health instructor with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Officially retiring in 2015, Jon now spends his time as environmental consultant for those looking to gain insight on the biological systems of agriculture. Jon is also the author of “A Soil Owner’s Manual: How to Restore and Maintain Soil Health,” which was published in 2016, yet continues to have an impact on agricultural thought leaders around the globe.
Throughout their conversation, Jon and John discuss:
- Jon’s realization that soil is not a chemical system, but a biological one.
- The impact of using synthetic fertilizers for several decades and how this has “sidelined” the true biology of our fields.
- What it means to be energy inefficient and the impact on mainstream agricultural systems and practices.
- Jon’s 15-year journey to a regenerative approach; how rapid implementation and economics can inspire other growers to transition to integrating biological methodologies.
- The differences between building soil from the foundational bedrock versus the act of regenerating soil.
- Jon’s belief in the power of educating beyond the growers, working with lenders, banks, agronomists, and landowners to help them understand and support the transition to regenerative agriculture.
- How models used in mainstream agriculture—and even sustainable agriculture—operate on a foundation of “dysfunctional soil.”
Pick up a copy of Jon’s book, “A Soil Owner’s Manual: How to Restore and Maintain Soil Health,” today! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30084638-a-soil-owner-s-manual