Renewable Farming

Today’s AgriEnergy seminar: A fitting tribute to AgriEnergy founder Dave Larson

At the conclusion of the Agrienergy Resources seminar in Des Moines today, key staff person Mardel Robinson noted that this day marks exactly 22 years since the unexpected death of AgriEnergy founder Dave Larson. 

Feb. 8, 2018  By Jerry Carlson — Today’s seminar, and the one just preceding it in Indiana, are a tribute to Dave’s intellect and foresight, leading farmers toward what could be described as the “biological age” of agriculture. Today in Des Moines, one of the leading seminar presenters was Dr. Michael Bomford of the Kwantien PolyTechnic University in British Columbia. He’s an expert ag microbiologist. His closing comment to farmers:

“Ideal soil health and productivity means the widest array and largest numbers of beneficial microorganisms we can manage.”

Dave Larson

That observation echoes precisely how Dave Larson defined soil fertility in the mid-1980s when he first spoke at Pro Farmer’s “Renewable Farming” seminars. Then he started teaching farmers the same message under the AgriEnergy Resources banner in 1988. As Mardel Robinson said today, “Dave foresaw the need for healthy soil biology — long before it was cool to call it important.”

Now, the major “biotech” companies are scrambling to buy up and/or discover the synergisms of our “littlest livestock” which may someday generate most of our NPK from soils, suppress weeds and crop diseases, provide high and consistent yields, improve nutrient density, and sharply reduce production costs per bushel. 

Farmers at the AgriEnergy seminar were generally eager to learn, optimistic in their outlook, and confident in their long-term soil stewardship. One told me, “Most of the other farmer meetings I’ve attended this winter have been depressing.” None of the chemical and GMO technologies appear to offer a clear course to long-term, consistent profit margins. 

I can’t think of a higher honor for Dave than seeing hundreds of farmers assembled to learn more about the power of biological life, and how to multiply it for healthy soil, healthy crops — and healthy people.