Great Plains Biochar Initiative

Author(s): Heather Nobert
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Biochar displayed in hand.

In 2017, the Nebraska Forest Service along with partners Kansas Forest Service, High Plains Biochar, and Wilson Biochar Associates received a USDA-Forest Service Wood Innovation Grant with the goal of enhancing the development of biochar markets throughout the Great Plains. The focus of the project was to provide education and outreach opportunities, along with product development funding for interested individuals, businesses and innovators looking to solve Great Plains problems with biochar.

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Outreach and education continue to serve as the cornerstone for creating excitement and fostering innovation for biochar in the Great Plains. GPBI workshops are hosted to provide a variety of unique learning opportunities for attendees while demonstrating the utilization of biochar within a variety of disciplines; agriculture, livestock, forestry, grassland management, soil improvement and water quality.

Char Days

Char days are informal, open-house style events. The Great Plains Biochar Initiative has an Oregon kiln for biochar production and char day hosts and attendees are encouraged to bring or provide their own kilns or styles of making biochar. If you or a group are interested in hosting an informal gathering of biochar enthusiasts, the Great Plains Biochar Initiative can help with promotion and provide content for attendees.

Project Assistance

Project assistance can include phone and email consultations, site visits, and referrals to subject matter experts. We can also help to identify appropriate funding opportunities for your project. Projects we’ve worked on to date include:

  • DIY biochar production,
  • row and specialty crop production using
  • biochar,
  • biochar use in urban landscapes,
  • incorporation of biochar into animal production, and much more.

Speaking Engagements

Is your organization interested in learning more about biochar? Staff are available to speak at your upcoming event! Presentations can be adjusted to the interest of your group – interested in organic farming? We’ll discuss the benefits of biochar in soils. Is water quality an issue? Learn how biochar can act as a filter for common pollutants. We are available to travel to your event or can identify a local subject matter expert for you.

Informational Resources

The Great Plains Biochar Initiative is constantly developing new informational resources to meet the needs of stakeholders and provide up-to-date information on new product developments and uses. If there is a topic you’d like to see us cover, please let us know. If we haven’t developed the information you’re looking for, we will find it for you. We will also work to coordinate short, web-based discussions or training related to biochar topics, research, applications or opportunities for collaboration.

Social Networking

We provide opportunities for social networking on and offline. We hope to connect you with other biochar enthusiasts in the region. Learn from others and let others learn from you! We will share upcoming events (local, regional, and national), new publications, and funding opportunities. You can find us on Facebook by searching for “Great Plains Biochar Initiative” or sign up for our email list.

Who Should Join?

  • Biochar Producers
  • Biochar Users
  • Academic Researchers
  • Municipalities
  • Agricultural and Livestock Producers
  • Agronomists
  • Natural Resource Professionals
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Sustainable Products Enthusiasts

Stay up-to-date and engaged in biochar discussions occurring within the Great Plains region. There is no cost to join. Simply go to NFS newsletters, complete the online form and select “Wood Products” to join our growing directory of biochar enthusiasts.