News and Events

Dates Set for Summer Soil Health Field Days

The popular Alliance field days will take place on July 25th at the Chris Pilgrim farm in Fredonia (Mercer Co.), PA and at Penn England Farm LLC in Williamsburg (Blair Co), PA on July 27th. Both will be preceded by an informal “Meeting of the Minds” dinner the evening before.

The programs for each are still being developed, but will include a keynote address by speaker Monte Bottens (more information below), farmer panels, break-out sessions for equipment demonstrations, sample cover crop plots and the rainfall simulator demonstration. There will also be ample time for dialogue with other farmers and vendors.

Mark your calendars now and watch for details in future newsletters! Sponsorships are available by contacting Jay Howes at

Keynote Speaker Selected for Field Days

Monte Bottens from the Bottens Family Farm in Cambridge, Illinois will be the featured speaker at both summer field days. Bottens Family Farm is a multi-generational 2,000-acre farm and has been in the family since 1869. Their goal is to regenerate their soil by bringing diversity back to the land through livestock and cover crops and one day maybe vegetable and tree crops. The farm team’s daily challenges are finding ways to use technology to improve, reduce or remove outdated farming practices and create the very best living environment for the crops and livestock in their care.

​In early 2018, Monte and his wife, Robyn, started a marketing platform called Grateful Graze to take their grass-fed proteins direct to consumer. The farm now raises cattle, pigs and poultry on 150-acres of diverse pasture on-site and on nearby acreage. According to Monte, the livestock became an additional “crop rotation” which also includes corn, soybeans, wheat, cover crop mixes to what was once a monocrop system.

From no-till, to cover cropping, intercropping, and relay cropping, Bottens Family Farm uses a systems-based approach and makes minor and major adjustments each growing season based on what they’ve learned from replicated trials over time.

The Alliance is excited to hear what we can learn from Monte’s extensive experience at the field days on July 25 and 27th.