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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

International Year of Soils

I am happy to be alive in the International Year of Soils.  The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization FAO is sharing lots of information on soils.  USDA is kicked off the celebration yesterday.  Soil Science Society of America has lots of resources to help you learn more. 

I am pleased to see the importance of soils recognized.  I began my USDA career with Soil Conservation Service.  The agency emphasis on soils made them very unique. We worked with private land owners on soil conservation issues, but the effect on the environment was across the board.  If you conserve soil, you also improve wildlife habitat, you clean up surface water, you improve crop productivity, and touch the environment in many other ways.  I liked the emphasis.  In 1994, Soil Conservation Service became Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Agency leaders wanted to emphasize that they worked with all resources.  That is fine, but it took the spotlight off of the fact that soil is the key to life. 

I will try and do a monthly feature to join in the celebration.

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