Midwest Cover Crops Council receives national award

The Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC) received the No-Till Innovator Award in the “Organization” category at the 21st National No-Tillage Conference that took place Jan. 9–12 in Indianapolis.

The MCCC is a diverse group from academia, production agriculture, nongovernmental organizations, commodity interests, the private sector, and federal and state agencies collaborating to address soil, water, air and agricultural quality concerns in the Great Lakes and Mississippi river basins.

The MCCC has had a tremendous impact across the Midwest on promoting cover crops. As a diverse organization, they have conducted research, educational programs and field days around no-till farming and cover crops throughout the region in the U.S. and Canada.

Michigan State University senior Extension educator Dale Mutch is the Michigan state coordinator for the MCCC. Dale is also an MSU adjunct professor of crop, soil and microbial sciences, a cover crop IPM Extension specialist and Michigan state coordinator of the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) Professional Development Program (PDP).

Eileen Kladivko (left), and adjunct professor Dale Mutch (center), receive the No-Till Innovator Award for the Organization category.

Purdue University professor Eileen Kladivko (left), and Michigan State University senior Extension educator and MSU adjunct professor Dale Mutch (center), receive the No-Till Innovator Award for the Organization category from Chuck Leonard of Syngenta. The two received the award on behalf of the Midwest Cover Crops Council and the Executive Committee at the 21st National No-Tillage Conference held Jan. 9–12, 2013, in Indianapolis, Ind.
Photo credit: Randall Reeder, Ohio State.

The MCCC has an annual meeting every year in one of the participating states or provinces to plan and present new cover crop information across the North Central Region. The group promotes field day events, proceedings of annual meetings and new information about cover crops through their Web site at www.mccc.msu.edu. The MCCC’s Listserv with more than 300 users allows farmers, educators and others to ask cover crop questions and to get immediate answers.

The MCCC headed the creation of a cover crop selector tool, funded by Project GREEEN and developed by MSU Extension senior research associate Dean Baas, that allows farmers, agribusinesses and others to choose cover crops for their farming systems. You can read a previous Spotlight article on the field crop selector tool. Since that March 2011 article, they’ve developed a cover crop selector tool for vegetable producers active since May 2012.

The MCCC also compiled cover crop species and application information to produce the Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide, which has sold more than 10,000 copies since its February 2012 release.

Now in its 17th year, the No-Till Innovator Award Program is jointly sponsored by No-Till Farmer magazine and Syngenta. The program was developed to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of no-till farming, regardless of the crop grown or brand of equipment or chemicals used.

Congratulations to the council and thanks to Dale for his leadership! See photo on my blog.

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