During 2019-21, Walton Family Foundation funded a project with University of Missouri and the Midwest Cover Crops Council to support development of cover crop training modules and offer training programs to farm advisors in the region.

This led to development of 11 training modules on cover crop selection, management, economics, and related topics.  Each module consists of a PowerPoint slide set with accompanying instructor notes for each slide.  Each slide set was reviewed for content relevance and accuracy, mainly by volunteer expert reviewers identified through the Midwest Cover Crops Council.  The individuals who reviewed each slide set are identified within the instructor notes accompanying the first slide of each PowerPoint.  The slide sets were trialed and improved via both in-person and online trainings offered to ag retailers, extension, SWCD, and NRCS staff.  As of early 2022, over 500 Midwest farm advisors have been trained with the material.

The most common training format for an in-person program has been a one-day event, typically starting around 9 am and running to about 3:30 or 4:00 pm, for situations where the audience is coming from within a 2-hour radius.  In cases where the driving distance for some participants is longer, an afternoon followed by a morning session has been used instead.  For either format, typically 6 hours of instruction is provided.  The PowerPoint slide sets below take an average about 30 minutes to present (range of 25 to 35 minutes).  Usually, 6-7 topics have been selected out of the topic list below for a workshop session, most often the first 7 topics on the list below. Typically, three or more trainers are used to present the material, and it is preferred that either an expert farmer be one of the speakers, or a panel of local farmers using cover crops be incorporated into the program.   These PowerPoint modules have also been used for online trainings, in some cases as a series of one-hour webinars, and in other cases as two back-to-back mornings of 3-hour sessions, again aiming for a total of about 6 hours of training time.

The above slide sets with embedded instructor notes are available through the Midwest Cover Crops Council website and the Center for Regenerative Agriculture website. https://cra.missouri.edu For more information, contact Dr. Rob Myers, Director, Center for Regenerative Agriculture, University of Missouri, at myersrob@missouri.edu.