Seed World

Soil Health Partnership Seeks Director


As the Soil Health Partnership (SHP) heads into its fourth year, changes are afoot among the staff due to promotions and several positions are open. An initiative of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the program’s goal is to quantify the benefits of soil health-promoting practices from an economic as well as environmental standpoint, showing farmers how healthy soil benefits their bottom line.

NCGA has promoted Nick Goeser, who has served as the project’s director since its launch in 2014, to the position of NCGA vice president of production and sustainability.

While the promotion offers Goeser a great new opportunity for professional impact, he says the decision to leave SHP was difficult. In his new role, he will serve as a member of the SHP Steering Committee and remain engaged with the Science Advisory Council.

“The Soil Health Partnership is a project I have poured my heart and soul into for the last four years,” Goeser says. “My hope is that this change will bring additional opportunity and support to the partnership. This program will continue to grow to scale impactful change across agricultural and non-agricultural communities — and our enrolled farmers and staff deserve credit for the success.”

Chris Novak, NCGA CEO, says: “We are excited to see how Nick will grow our sustainability efforts and, given his proven record of excellence, confident that he will shape our organization to benefit farmers both in the near and long-term.”

In other SHP staff changes, former Eastern Iowa field manager Elyssa McFarland has been promoted to key relationships director. In this position, she will identify key contacts at new and existing stakeholder organizations to establish and foster relationships. McFarland will also help with technical communications, working to provide key stakeholders with science-based soil health and sustainability information, as well as providing technical assistance.

Additionally, Jack Cornell has been promoted to field team director from his former position of operations manager. Cornell has oversight over the SHP field team and works to add new levels of support in farmer relationship management, data collection and management, special collaborative projects and network expansion efforts.

To round things out, former program coordinator Anne Dietz has been promoted to SHP project manager. She will take a more active role in overseeing management of essential projects across SHP such as assistance in grant management, website development and technology integration. Dietz will expand her work across internal and external collaborators for management of these efforts.