The Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (CCSI) expanded its core team this month to include a new conservation cropping systems agronomist, Ashley Hammac. Ashley joins the CCSI team to provide education on conservation agriculture to a variety of audiences across the state and to assist with soil health research, demonstrations, and data collection from farmers that cooperate with the project.
“We are excited to have Ashley on board with the CCSI team,” said Les Zimmerman, chair of the CCSI oversight committee. “We look forward to an energetic outreach effort to promote conservation cropping systems in Indiana and to help our ag producers realize the potential of healthy, well managed soils to positively impact our water quality along with their bottom line.”
Ashley brings an educational background in environmental soil and water studies and agronomy to the position. He also draws on his experience working with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, where he worked in permitting and compliance for aquatic coastal systems impact. Though he did not grow up farming, his parents did, and Ashley looks forward to becoming more involved in farming himself.
Eileen Kladivko, a member of the CCSI steering committee and professor of Agronomy at Purdue University, stated, “Ashley brings a passion for conservation to our CCSI team, and he is excited to work with the many committed partners in this effort. His location at Purdue will also facilitate greater interactions with Purdue Extension Specialists and County Educators in the areas of soil health and conservation cropping systems.”
Ashley looks forward to being a resource for local soil and water conservation districts and other partners as well. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 251-259-7614 (cell) or 765-496-0503 (office).
The Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative was launched in 2009 with funding from the United State Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Indiana State Soil Conservation Board. CCSI is administered by the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, with many partners cooperating on the project. The Initiative organizes training workshops, field days, and research for producers around the state of Indiana to share conservation practices including no-till and cover crops with a focus on regenerative soil health.