Soil Biology Track with Dr. Elaine Ingham

Part of the 2014 Virginia Farm to Table Conference will focus specifically on soil biology with an exclusive full-day soil biology track with Dr. Elaine Ingham of Soil Foodweb, Inc. The first training day will be held on Wednesday, December 3 at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, VA. The second, repeat training, will be held on the campus of Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia on Thursday, December 4th, 2014.


Dr. Elaine Ingham is a globally-recognized soil microbiologist and soil management educator. For over 30 years, Dr. Ingham has focused on the science of rebuilding soil biology and soil health in order to grow better crops, while reducing reliance on external inputs. She is the founder and President of Soil Foodweb Inc., an international laboratory system that assesses the balance of organisms in soils and other materials. Dr. Ingham earned her PhD in Microbiology from Colorado State in 1981. She conducted post-doctoral research at both Colorado State and University of Georgia. She was on the faculty of Oregon State University in both Forest Science and Botany and Plant Pathology from 1986 to 2001. Dr. Ingham is an Affiliate Professor of Graduate Research at Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW, Australia, and an Affiliate Professor of Sustainable Living at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA. She served as Chief Scientist at Rodale Institute and as Program Chair for the Ecological Society of America. She was primary author of the Soil Biology Primer, a highly readable introduction to soil biology published by the Soil & Water Conservation Society and USDA-NRCS.

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Confirmed Speakers & Panelists

The theme for this year’s Virginia Farm-to-Table Conference is ‘Nutrition, Health and Sustainability from the Ground Up!’. The conference will continue to encourage collaboration, conservation, and community. Day 1 will focus on soil and community health and Day 2 will focus on scale, ethics, and markets. The in-depth soil biology training will be concurrent with the conference track on scale, ethics, and markets.

Presently, confirmed speakers and panelists include:

Panel topics include:

  • Practical Applications of Soil Health
  • Opportunities and Challenges of Value-Added Grain, Feed and Flour Production
  • Labor Issues for Beginning and Start-up Farmers
  • Nutrition and Health from the Ground Up
  • Interacting with Institutions from Schools on Up
  • Season Extension and Optimizing Markets
  • Making Sure the Numbers Work For You
  • Veteran Farmers in Our Community
  • Gathering of Local, Regional, and State food system councils