Soil Health Bootcamp and Applications to Sustainable Vegetable Cropping: Professional Development for Local Agriculture Educators

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2015: $64,307.00
Projected End Date: 05/31/2018
Grant Recipient: Kansas State University
Region: North Central
State: Kansas
Project Coordinator:
Dr. Megan Kennelly
Kansas State University

Annual Reports


  • Vegetables: beans, carrots, cucurbits, eggplant, tomatoes


  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension
  • Natural Resources/Environment: carbon sequestration
  • Pest Management: biological control, botanical pesticides, chemical control, cultural control, disease vectors, economic threshold, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, mulches - killed, mulches - living, physical control, sanitation, traps, weather monitoring
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil analysis, nutrient mineralization, soil chemistry, soil microbiology, soil physics, soil quality/health


    The overall goal of this project is to develop, deliver, and evaluate a comprehensive training program about soil health with specific applications to sustainable vegetable cropping. The training involves online learning and face-to-face hands-on workshops. The primary audience is K-State Research and Extension county/local educators who identified this as a professional development need.  Other participants include NRCS educators and a few Extension Master Gardeners.

    Project objectives:

    Broad learning objectives of our targeted audience include: i) Develop an understanding of the structure, function, and biological complexity of soil; ii) Learn and practice skills to measure and assess soil quality; iii) Build a toolbox of various methods including cover crops to improve soil health; iv) Understand the concepts of ecological pest management; v) Practice whole-farm system planning; and vi) Understand sustainable vegetable production.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.