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Michael Cooley
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Woodstock, Virginia, United States
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Cool Temperate
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Equipping farmers International and new International Certificate in Conservation Agriculture

Posted by Michael Cooley about 2 months ago


Join Us in Growing Together: Introducing EFI’s International Certificate in Conservation Agriculture

Conservation agriculture is a farming system that can prevent losses of arable land while regenerating degraded land. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines conservation agriculture as an agricultural system that promotes minimum soil disturbance (i.e., no-till farming), maintenance of a permanent soil cover, and diversification of plant species. It enhances biodiversity and natural biological processes above and below the ground, which contribute to increased water and nutrient use efficiency and to improved and sustained crop production.

Conservation agriculture finds its origins in the early 1930's when severe dust storms divested a large portion of the Midwestern U.S. Tillage was questioned seriously for the first time by Edward Faulkner in The Plowman's Folly in 1943. The realization that perhaps plowing up the entire prairie and leaving the soil uncovered for a monocrop of wheat was not a good idea anytime there is a possibility of drought.

The main principles of Conservation Agriculture are recognized as:

  1. Minimal soil disturbance

  2. Year-round soil coverage with mulch or cover crop

  3. Crop rotation

These principles are recognized not only by the FAO but also by many other development agencies as an effective means of improving agriculture in the Global South, where Western conventional agriculture has not sufficiently addressed the harsh conditions of precipitation-based seasons. 

As EFI grows and our initiatives expand, we see a critical need for our trainers to possess a robust training regimen that demonstrates their competency in conservation agriculture. It is essential that these trainers are not just knowledgeable but also deeply understand how to impart this knowledge effectively in the diverse contexts of the Global South. 

To meet this need, EFI is launching the International Certificate in Conservation Agriculture (ICCA) program that will:

  1. Approach agriculture from a distinctively biblical perspective,

  2. Be available globally,

  3. Provide lifetime certification with recognition by an accredited agricultural university and

  4. Acknowledge that God shows us patterns in his creation that can be replicated in agricultural science.

The program is a means of agricultural discipleship that is becoming a normal part of thousands of churches and church organizations around the globe.

In addition to the basic conservation agriculture principles that are applied in the context of the training locations, the training introduces biblical principles that recommend proper heart application of diligence and discipline.

The ICCA will fill the need, and God willing, by the Summer of 2024, it will become a reality. It is our hope to partner with Dordt University and ECHO Global to both endorse and assist in delivering this certification to trainers worldwide.

The ICCA has the potential to change the Church in the Global South, improving its food security and livelihoods. Increased yields can mean increased financial outcomes, which also benefits the church.

We pray that EFI’s ICCA program will help the church continue its growth in the Global South and invite you to join us in making it a reality.

Through the Summer of 2024, all donations are being generously matched, up to $60,000!

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My Badges
Consultant Aid worker Pdc teacher
My Permaculture Qualifications
Pri verified
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: Online
Date: May 2013
Other course verified
Type: Earthworks
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: Online
Date: Aug 2013
Other course verified
Reading The Landscape
Type: Other
Teacher: Geoff Lawton
Location: Online
Date: Jul 2014
Other course verified
Permaculture Teacher Training
Type: Teacher Training
Teacher: Wayne Weiseman
Location: Kinstone Academy of Applied Permaculture
Date: Oct 2015
8 PDC Graduates (list)
0 PRI PDC Graduates (list)
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have acknowledged being taught by Michael Cooley
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Climate Zones
Michael Cooley has permaculture experience in:
Cool Temperate
Warm Temperate
Sub tropical
Wet/Dry Tropical
Wet Tropical
Dry Tropical

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