The Daily Dirt

Behind the Conference: Justin Duncan

Justin Duncan of National Centers for Appropriate Technologies will be speaking during the Soil Remineralization and Remediation Friday In-Depth Workshop and the Why Organic Saturday Session. Visit our website to learn more about Friday & Saturday Sessions

What role do you play in the local, organic food movement?

My main roles are extension and research. National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) provides its National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA) program to producers interested in using organic and sustainable farming methods. Through ATTRA I speak to clients from all walks of life and varied agriculture interests. I enjoy being able to help them with their crop, pest and disease issues, mainly focusing on the soil fertility. If I ever come across something I can’t help with, the NCAT team has experts in diverse fields (pun intended) that are ready to assist our clients.

On the research side I work with organic farms looking to understand both the dynamics and economics related to using cover crops integrated into vegetable production in South Texas. Cover crops for hot and humid areas are one of my specialties (and a youtube video and publication as well).

Why are you excited to present about your topic and what are some key takeaways attendees will get from your session?

I’m leading two sessions this year, one session is Why Organic. This topic covers what chemical residues are found in food and the affects these residues have on health. The other topic is Soil Remineralization  and Remediation which focuses on the minerals we think we are getting in our diet but are not, and how to repair the soil. I am excited to present the research-based topics because they are practical subjects that people can put to immediate use.

What is your vision for the future of organic farming in Georgia?

My vision for organic farming in Georgia is the same as my vision for Texas and other states across the South, mass adoption. This country imports too much organic food. There is an opportunity for many people throughout the south to provide this food. My vision is a large quantity of small organic farms providing quality fruits and vegetables to their local area that is fresh-picked, healthy, and nutritious. Food hubs or cooperatives could distribute excess produce from the region to other areas of the nation.

What about the Georgia Organics conference do you look forward to the most?

I look forward to meeting producers in Georgia, some of whom I may have met at the SSAWG conference or through associations with Fort Valley State University, and exchanging ideas with a new set of folks.

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