Webinar: Compost & Soil: Restoring Health and Rebalancing the Climate with Calla Rose Ostrander & Jean Bonhotal

Date: 29 Sep 2021 | posted in: Composting | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

ILSR’s On-Farm Composting & Compost Use Webinar Series features experts from across the industry and covers the ins and outs of on-farm composting and compost use. In the fourth webinar of the series, Compost & Soil Health: Restoring Health and Rebalancing the Climate, presenters Calla Rose Ostrander and Jean Bonhotal presented the benefits composting provides to the soil, plants and the climate. 

Calla Rose Ostrander, Strategic Advisor & Healthy Soil Advocate at Phoenix Rising Resources LLC and Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Advisor at the California Natural Resources Agency, provided an overview of the effects of composting on carbon, water, and nutrient cycles, and the climate more broadly. She also covered the latest on the carbon sequestration potential of compost amended soil, the upstream benefits of composting different organic materials, and an update on the NRCS Interim Standard for Carbon Amendments.

Jean Bonhotal, Waste Management Specialist and Director of the Cornell Waste Management Institute in Soil and Crop Sciences, pulled from her 25 years in education around composting food, manure, animal carcasses, and compost quality and use, as well as her research characterizing and developing beneficial uses for organic residuals and balancing soils to maximize crop production. Her presentation laid out the qualities of different composted feedstocks commonly found on farms, including associated assets, challenges, applications, and soil and plant health impacts.

This webinar series was offered in partnership with the Million Acre Challenge.




Jean Bonhotal

Jean has worked at the Cornell Waste Management Institute in solid waste education for over 20 years, first working for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Broome County, then for the Cornell Waste Management Institute. Reducing, repurposing, recycling and composting solid and organic residuals to mine and redirect resources from our waste stream is a systematic way to manage our waste stream. She works on composting various feedstocks – from food to manure to animal carcasses. Currently her time includes work on food scrap, manure, and carcass & butcher waste composting education and research. Characterizing waste streams is important to be able to separate and determine value-added purposes for different residuals. Compost quality and consistency in the market place is also a high priority, as well as encouraging compost use to build healthy soils and redistribute nutrients.


Calla Rose Ostrander

Calla Rose is a Strategic Advisor to individuals and organizations dedicated to the well-being of people and planet. She specializes in climate change and agricultural policy, science communications and movement building. Since 2013 she has worked to support the advancement of carbon farming, compost production and climate beneficial material economies in California. In partnership with John Wick and the partner organizations of the Marin Carbon Project, Calla Rose has supported the successful scaling of regenerative agriculture to the state scale through strategic organization, economic development, local and state policy, and communications.



The live webinar took place on: 

October 26, 2021 from 12:00-1:30 pm ET


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Follow Linda Bilsens Brolis:
Linda Bilsens Brolis

Linda is the Senior Program Manager for ILSR’s Composting for Community Initiative and Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders Composter Training Program.

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Follow Sophia Jones:
Sophia Jones

Sophia Jones is the Policy Lead with ILSR’s Composting for Community initiative, where she researches, analyzes and supports the building of US policy that advances local composting. Her background in sustainable development and agriculture reflects her interest in solutions-based, community-led development initiatives.