Anna Cates

Graduate Student

Contact Information:

Current Projects

  • Tracking the effects of management in WICST on soil organic matter and agronomic performance

Research and Professional Interests

  • My research has become focused on how various management scenarios affect soil carbon. I\'ve spent my Masters\' degree working with Matt Ruark in the Department of Soil Science trying to parse out whether these effects of management can be translated into predictors of future system performance. I\'ve been fractionating soil into particulate organic matter (POM) and aggregate fractions in order to better understand exactly where C and N are stored. My research took place at the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems trial, a 20-year old trial at the Arlington Ag Research Station. My PhD project with Randy will be within the Great Lakes Biofuels Research Center, in a corn/cover crop system. Cover crops are incorporated into the rotation in order to compensate for the harvest of silage for cellulosic ethanol. We\'ll investigate how successful they are in maintaining soil carbon.


  • BA, History, Dartmouth College 2006


  • \"Labile and Physically Protected Organic Matter in Long-Term Cropping Systems\" SSSA/ASA/CSSA Annual Meetings, Tampa, FL, Nov. 2013
  • \"Perennial Possibilities: A vision for a new Agroecosystem,\" Soil Science Seminar, Jan. 2013


  • \"Can managing to increase aggregate-protected and particulate organic matter reduce the need for nitrogen?\" at Improving Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Crop & Livestock Production Systems, Kansas City, MO, Aug. 2012
  • \"Can managing to increase particulate organic matter (POM) reduce the need for nitrogen?\" at Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services, Feb. 2013

Professional Positions and Responsibilities

  • CSA Coordinator, Gathering Together Farms, Philomath, OR. 2007-2009
  • Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, \"That\'s My Farmer\" Coordinator 2007-2009
  • Renaissance Farms, farming and paperwork for GAP certification, 2011-present