Dr. Allen Williams, Starkville, MS
Founder & President, LMC/Founder, Grass Fed Beef LLC
Dr. Williams is a sixth-generation family farmer and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in animal science from Clemson University and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. He spent 15 years in academia, writing more than 300 peer-reviewed and popular press articles before leaving in 2000 to found LMC, LLC. The agriculture & food industry consulting firm specializes in enhanced farm and food company sustainability and profitability through values-based value chain product development and marketing. He has worked with more than 3,500 farmers and ranchers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and South America, and consulted with branded food programs, processors, distributors, retailers and food service. He also is a founding partner of Grass Fed Beef, LLC. Dr. Williams has served on numerous boards and national committees.
Adaptive Grazing and Livestock/Cover Crop Integration: Your Keys to Building Soil Health
A sturdy building starts with a strong foundation. Likewise, profitable farms and ranches must start with a solid foundation: The Soil. We know that 90% of soil function is mediated by microbes, yet those same microbes are dependent on plants for support. So, how we manage those plants is crucial to overall microbial population, and microbial community structure. In truly healthy soil, every acre should be comprised of more than three tons of soil bacteria, fungi, protozoa, earthworms, and soil level insects. So, the question is: How do we build our soil microbial population and soil organic matter to highly functional levels? Our research and on-farm/ranch case studies have shown that we can build soil OM, microorganism and macro-organism populations substantially within relatively short periods of time. We will examine data from multi-year trials that demonstrate the myriad benefits of implementation of adaptive grazing on livestock farms and ranches, and the benefits of cover crop- livestock integration into row cropping operations. Recent discoveries indicate that by implementing regenerative agricultural practices, farmers and ranchers can experience positive compounding and cascading results, rather than simple linear impacts. These compounding results start at the soil microbial level and expand through the plants, macro-organisms, livestock, beneficial insects, water quality, and full ecosystem impacts. The bottom line is healthy soil = healthy plants = healthy livestock = healthy environment. This equals opportunity for enhanced profits.