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MD/DC/VA EM and Agriculture Seminar, April 2, 2005


EM in Agriculture Seminar

WHEN: 8AM to 4PM, April 2, 2005
WHERE: Shepherdstown, WV (directions)
COST: $35.00
MORE INFORMATION: Contact Allan Balliett at 304.876.3382 or
MOREMOREMOREMO EMworkshop@gardeningforthefuture.com
Seminar website: www.gardeningforthefuture.com

A full day workshop featuring Steve Diver and Vinny Pinto and Matthew Wood on how to use inexpensive farm-made microbial ferments to boost soil fertility and control disease in farm and garden crops and to increase the available nutrition in livestock feeds and control common livestock odors (with a postscript on the use of beneficial microbes for human nutrition). This is a workshop for farmers, ranchers, gardeners, ag professionals, resource specialists, conservationists, soil scientists, nutrient management specialists, students, educators, livestock managers and anyone interested in the health and nutritional benefits of microbial diversity. This workshop focuses on the living component of soil and how it contributes to agricultural productivity.

Effective microorganisms, or EM, is a special culture of beneficial microorganisms which are used as an inoculant to promote healthy soils, treat livestock odors, and compost food wastes. When used properly, EM applications create beneficial soil effects such as improved soil aggregation, nitrogen fixation, mineralization, humus formation, disease suppression, and decomposition. EM is also used to enhance the nutrition and digestibility of livestock feeds and to control odors and insects problems in livestock enterprises. The best site on the web for information on what EM is and how to use it is Vinny Pinto's "EM INFO" site. (www.eminfo.info/)

21st century organic farmers have become aware of the necessity for a successful organic farm to have a diverse and health soil foodweb. In the U.S., one is likely to hear that the only approach to bolstering the soil foodweb is through applications of aerobically brewed compost tea. Many farmers have found that producing an viable batch of aerobic compost tea can be both expensive (lab tests, equipment outlay) and time consuming. For decades now the Japanese have been using anaerobic microbial brews to gain the same results claimed for aerobic teas. EM is the most reliable and effective of the Asian microbial brews. Using EM requires virtually no extra equipment and requires no lab tests. Ironically, EM is an anaerobic inoculant which brews itself in a closed container and yet provides such a significant boost to soil biology that it not only brings "rare' beneficial microbes to farm soils, it also creates a soil environment that allows indigenous bacteria, fungus and beneficial nematodes to flourish.

Furthermore, in the world of microbial agriculture, EM is far from a new idea. EM has been used in Japan for more than 20 years. As a point of fact, ATTRA's Steve Diver says that there are more research papers and reports on EM than on any other microbial inoculation system in organic agriculture.

Steve Diver, who has recently presented at both the ECOFARM and Upper Midwest Organic Conferences on building soil and plant health through beneficial microbial inoculation, will give an overview of the theory and practice of using beneficial microbe cultures on the farm. His presentation will review practical approaches for bioaugmentation of the rhizosphere and phyllosphere, including the production and use of compost teas, effective microorganisms, indigenous microorganisms, fermented plant extracts, cow patty pit from Biodynamics, and mass-produced mycorrhizal inoculates, as well as how the use of EM fits into this larger picture.

Vinny Pinto, an expert on agricultural applications for EM, will speak on the following topics:

    * Basics of EM
    * How to use EM for composting
    * Using EM for ag soil
    * How to make high quality AEM
    * How to use EM for cattle, poultry and swine
    * Value of EM products in human and livestock nutrition

A hands-on bokashi-making workshop will also likely be offered, and Efficient Microbes EM microbial culture and various related products will be offered for sale by a representative from SCD. Better, there is a very good chance that Matthew Wood, a founding partner of SCD, will be available to offer an introduction to EM and its various uses, and also to lecture on specific applications in agriculture. Matthew studied EM technology with Dr. Teruo Higa in Japan and earned his Master's degree in Dr. Higa's EM program at University of Ryukus in Okinawa; he remains the first and only American to have completed the Master's program in EM with Dr. Higa. We will offer further updates on Matthew Wood's possible presence as soon as details are at hand.

The goal of this conference is to give the new user a background on the theory and science of microbial inoculation in general and a working knowledge of how to economically use EM effectively in a farming enterprise. Furthermore, once in the field, attendees of this workshop can rely on support from Mr. Pinto through his "EM-AG" internet discussion group.

Seating for the workshop is limited, so please register early. Register by sending a check made out to "GFTF" to Gardening for the Future, POB 3047, Shepherstown, WV 25443 or at the door. For up-to-date information about this seminar, watch www.gardeningforthefuture.com or contact Allan Balliett at 304.876-3382 or EMworkshop@gardeningforthefuture.com

Bio for Vinny Pinto go back to top of page
Vinny Pinto is a consulting scientist who performs research on use of beneficial syntropic (anti-entropic) fermentative microbes, including EM and related microbial consortia, in a variety of fields ranging from soils for crop agriculture to livestock to odor management and pathogen reduction in industrial and waste treatment settings. He also operates a small zero-odor egg-producing operation using EM microbial technology. Vinny is a degreed scientist with a Master's degree in the health-related sciences and in research methods in the health sciences. He has a strong background in devising and guiding scientific research studies. He has been working with and researching uses of EM for over two years, particularly in the realms of livestock and human uses, and health-related applications using EM fermented antioxidant beverages as a nutritional supplement for humans and animals; he performs consulting for clients in a number of foreign countries as well as in the USA. One of his recent large agricultural livestock consulting projects involved implementation of EM for odor control and animal health in a large "factory" poultry farm containing about 50,000 chickens in a 6,000 sq. ft. barn, where the poultry density was roughly 10 lbs per square foot. He has presented lectures and seminars on the usage of such beneficial syntropic microbes in many venues, including the international EM Sustainable Community Festival held in Kansas City, MO in November 2004 which attracted attendees from around the world. Vinny operates two popular informational websites on EM and its uses ( www.eminfo.info and www.antioxbrew.com ) and he operates five e-mail list groups on various applications of EM and similar beneficial antioxidative microbes. Vinny is the author of an encyclopedic 200+ page book entitled "Fermentation with Syntropic Antioxidative Microbes: An Advanced Guide to Brewing EM Fermented Secondary Products", and is currently working on an introductory book offering an overview on the use EM across many fields and a second book which will offering basic guidelines for using EM and related beneficial microbial cultures in agriculture. Vinny is also the publisher of the fee-based "Advanced EM Newsletter", a newsletter devoted to advanced uses for EM across various sectors.

Bio for Steve Diver go back to top of page
Steve Diver is an agriculture specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Steve provides technical support on agronomic and horticultural topics through NCAT's flagship sustainable agriculture program known as ATTRA -- National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. He earned BS and an MS degrees in horticulture from Oklahoma State University, and worked as Extension Horticulturist in Eastern Oklahoma for four years. He managed an organic blueberry farm in the Missouri Ozarks prior to joining NCAT. He has surveyed EM technology and provided technical support for agricultural applications of EM since 1995. Steve has delivered workshops and keynote lectures on humus farming, soil biology, compost, compost teas, EM (Effective Microorganisms), IMO (Indigenous Microorganisms), fermented plant extracts, biodynamic preparations, and related on-farm microbial preparations at organic farming conferences, scientific symposiums, and Extension Service training. He lives on a 12 acre farm outside of Fayetteville, AR, and raises a quarter acre garden of mixed vegetables, flowers, and herbs. ================================================================================

Special thanks is given to Vinny Pinto and Steve Diver and to Sustainable Community Development (www.scdworld.org "Sustainable Commmunity Development, L.L.C. ("SCD") is dedicated to providing the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) community with all natural, microbial-based products for human health and environmental sustainability!") for the sacrifices they have made to make this event possible.

This seminar was organized by Allan Balliett and Gardening for the Future's educational project, the Fresh and Local CSA of Shepherdstown WV (serving the DC metro-area) www.freshandlocalcsa.com

This seminar is co-sponsored by Jeff Otto and East Coast Organics, where "Our mission is to offer garden centers, nurseries and professional growers premium quality, field-tested organic supplies that promote responsible land management. By blending the modern theories of sustainable agriculture with ancient agricultural traditions, East Coast Organics has created an essential line of organic garden supplies that will improve the lives of your plants and the life of our planet." www.eastcoastorganics.com

This seminar is co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, a non-profit organization which promotes profitable farming which produces healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment." www.PASAfarming.org

This seminar is co-sponsored and supported by Horticultural Extension of Loudoun, Co, Virginia

This seminar is co-sponsored and supported by the office of agricultural economic development of Jefferson County, Virginia

Title: MD/DC/VA EM and Agriculture Seminar, April 2, 2005

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