Kersbergen mentioned in Bates article on influence of crop advisers

Rick Kersbergen, a sustainable dairy and forage systems expert with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was mentioned in the Bates College news article, “Crop advisers can influence farmers to adopt conservation practices.” A recently published study led by a visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Bates determined crop advisers may be potential influencers when it comes to farmers implementing conservation practices, according to the article. Crop advisers work independently or for retailers such as seed or fertilizer companies, helping farmers be more productive and efficient, the article states. Kersbergen, a crop adviser certified by the American Society of Agronomy who specializes in dairy farming in Maine, says farmers trust the advice they pay to get. Kersbergen has helped Maine dairy farmers go organic in recent years and researched pasture and forage systems for dairy cows, farm safety, and soil health. While he still works directly with dairy farmers, he now also runs seminars, helps would-be crop advisers study for the certification exam, and provides recertification training, Bates reported. Kersbergen said farmers turn to crop advisers for lots of farm management decisions. “The trend has been for farmers to hire crop advisers to provide pest management advice, as well as manure, nutrient and herbicide-pesticide advice,” he said.