National No-Till Conference highlights mentorship and innovation


The National No-Till Conference was held at St. Louis, Missouri from January 10-13, 2023.

It’s 31st annual year saw over 900 participants for the conference, and as Michaela Paukner, head of the this year’s conference explained, it was great to see so many people committed to no-till practices.

Participants came from across all of North America, along with some international participants from Australia, Italy, and Nigeria. What makes the conference really unique, says Paukner, is the dedication it brings to the no-till audience, with specific no-till practices.

“Obviously, a lot of no-tillers are using cover crops, and things like that. So we incorporate some of that, but really, the structure of our program is focused around no-till. And then the other big piece of it that’s maybe more hard to quantify is that it’s such a family-like and community atmosphere that we’re getting,” Paukner explains, adding some of the participants have been coming every single year.

“So they’re coming here, they’re seeing these people that they’ve met from all over the country, all over the world, that they get to see every year and run past ideas and learn how they’re doing.”

Part of this community atmosphere is highlighted through the many round tables that are conducted throughout the conference, as it gives participants the ability to talk through some of the problems they are experiencing.

“You’re getting that direct feedback about those really specific questions,” Paukner says, “And then you can identify like ‘oh, hey, that person is in the same situation as me’, or ‘the person has a lot of knowledge about this thing that I’m wondering about.’ So then you can build on that connection, keep in touch with them, and make yourself better as a no-tiller.”

A big part of the conference is mentorship, explains Paukner, as there are a lot of people who meet their mentors at the show — whether it’s for the first time, or to reconnect.

Planning for the 2024 show is already underway for Indianapolis, Indiana, in January 2024. Registration is open.

Check out the full conversation with Michaela Paukner, filmed at the 2023 conference, below:

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