Panelists announced for soil, water quality discussion March 23 in Syracuse

Small Towns

Trenton Buhr, policy assistant,, 402.687.2100 ext. 1010; Teresa Hoffman, policy communications associate,, 402.687.2100 ext. 1012; Rhea Landholm, brand marketing and communications manager,, 402.687.2100 ext 1025

SYRACUSE, NEBRASKA—Ray Ward, founder of Ward Laboratories, Inc. in Kearney, will join other panelists for Interconnectedness and Agriculture, a discussion about soil and water quality in agriculture and urban areas on Monday, March 23, in Syracuse.

Community members and producers are invited to the discussion, which is being sponsored by the Center for Rural Affairs in collaboration with the Nebraska Healthy Soils Task Force and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The free event will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the Syracuse Public Library, 480 5th St. Doors will open at 6 p.m.

“The Healthy Soils Task Force is currently reviewing the state’s efforts to assist productivity and conservation,” said Mike McDonald, a Palmyra farmer and member of the healthy soils task force. “We are developing a healthy soils initiative and action plan that will be submitted to the governor and unicameral by Dec. 31, 2020.  This is the first step to gather input from across the state.”

An expert since the 1980s, Ward will discuss the interconnection of nutrients with the quality of soil and water. 

Joining Ward for discussion are Craig Derickson, Nebraska State Conservationist for the NRCS, who will discuss the tie to natural resources and state incentives; Randy Pryor, Saline County Extension Educator, who will talk about the Extension Office’s work on atrazine and the watershed on Turkey Creek; and Andy Licht, who will discuss the perspective of Nebraska agricultural retailers on nutrients and steps forward in the state.

“We hope farmers and citizens will come and share both their goals and concerns,” said Trenton Buhr, policy assistant at the Center for Rural Affairs. “This is an opportunity to hear from people in the industry and work together to create effective soil health policy.”

A light meal and refreshments will be provided for the first 70 attendees.

Please RSVP or for questions, contact Trenton Buhr, Center for Rural Affairs policy assistant, at 402.687.2100 ext. 1010 or For more information visit