This year CSANR sponsored registration for several WSU students to attend the Tilth Conference. We will post reflections written by the students over the next several weeks. Please feel free to comment and give these students your feedback.
My name is Abdelsalam Aldrmon. I am from Libya and I earned my master’s degree in environmental science from Omar Al-Mukhtar University Libya. I have been a PhD student at WSU in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences for two years. I am most interested in issues related to agriculture and the environment. Now I am working on a project: Designer Biochar to Improve Soil Hydraulic Properties, Chemical Properties and Crop Productivity.
My expectations before attending the Tilth Conference were like any other conference and I was looking forward to topics related to sustainable agriculture. The best session for me was the first session, sustainable systems. What really aroused my interest was the diverse audience including students, farmers, marketers, scientists, and others, not like any conference I had previously attended. I think that what made the Tilth Conference distinctive.
The lecture by Dr. Dan Sullivan of Oregon State University, under the topic – Nutrient Management for Sustainable Vegetable Cropping – was very beneficial for me. He highlighted important points such as nutrient management strategies and their effect on productivity. But the point that was most useful for me was the use of soil nitrate testing to determine whether soil nitrogen supply is deficient or adequate, and also the appropriate timing to do testing.
I had the honor of meeting the keynote presenter David R. Montgomery, from Geomorphology at University of Washington, and I discussed his book with him and his lecture titled “Bring Our Soil Back to Life: Growing a Revolution.” I talked with him about methods to build organic matter in soil and their effect on crop yield as well as their contribution to the storage of carbon in soil. He mentioned to me that his book includes small parts about biochar as a promising matrix to improve chemical and physical properties of soil and at the same time storing the carbon in the soil in a stable form. After this discourse with him, I was very excited to buy his book and have now already done so.
I would like to thank CSANR and let you know how much I appreciated the opportunity to attend the 2017 Tilth Conference in Vancouver, WA. And I think that this conference met its goals through creating an environment to connect and exchange experiences among interested parties within agriculture, in addition to presenting new and emerging topics in this field. I hope to get another opportunity to attend and participate in conferences like this one. I would recommend students attend the next Tilth Conference.