(Posted Mon. Nov 19th, 2018)
The Soil Health Partnership welcomes a new field manager to the growing staff, along with a program coordinator to support farmers in the soil health effort. Madelyn Rabenhorst joins the SHP team to cover the state of South Dakota as a field manager, and Stacey Stiens is already making an impact in her role as Program Coordinator.
“As we build our organization, our priority remains ensuring that our enrolled farmers have the support they need to adopt practices that promote soil health, manage the SHP test plots, and help us in the critical process of data collection and insights generation,” said Shefali Mehta, executive director for the Soil Health Partnership. “We welcome Madelyn and Stacey to the SHP team and look forward to their expertise and enthusiasm.”
SHP field managers help new farmers get started in the program, assisting them with making decisions on which soil health-promoting practices best suit their farms. The field managers help farmers with setting test strips, as well as with soil sampling and answering questions about the farming techniques implemented on a particular site. They also help organize, attend and present at field days. They are critical in relaying individual data reports and insights back to farmers.
Rabenhorst will work in South Dakota, a state eager to begin enrolling farmers in the program, with funding support from South Dakota Corn, NRCS South Dakota, and SHP. She also is expected to cover future enrolled farms in North Dakota, where SHP is growing its incorporation of wheat farms with support from General Mills and the National Wheat Foundation. Both states represent important growth opportunities for the SHP program, which currently has about 140 farmers enrolled in other states, mostly in the Midwest.
Rabenhorst comes to the partnership after working as a precision ag manager. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from South Dakota State University, with a minor in insect pest management. She is working toward a Master of Science in Agronomy through Iowa State University’s distance learning program.
“I was born and raised here in South Dakota on our family’s farm,” said Rabenhorst. “I am excited to join an organization that focuses on helping farmers with good, realistic, reliable data.”
As program coordinator, Stacey Stiens organizes and oversees the partnership’s many events, assists with program communication and supports customer relationship management. A graduate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, she has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and has 12 years in planning and implementing educational activities, programs and events.