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The Science of Soil Health & Why It Matters

March 30, 2018 @ 11:00 am 12:30 pm PDT

Co-sponsored by: Chesapeake Bay Funders Network and Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Funders

Healthy soils are essential for healthy plant growth, but did you also know they play a role sequestering carbon and cleaning our waterways?

Please join us for an introductory discussion on soil health science. We will explore the basics of soil health management systems – including common practices, measurement/assessment approaches, and associated co-benefits. This program is intended for funders new to the topic of soil health or those interested in better understanding the connection between soil health and climate change and clean water.

We will first hear from the Soil Health Institute (SHI), an independent, nonprofit organization charged with coordinating soil stewardship and advancing soil health; focusing on fundamental and applied research. SHI will discuss the basics of soil health science, including what we know and don’t know about co-benefits for water quality, carbon, economics, etc. and the approaches to measuring and assessing soil health.

We will then be joined by the Virginia Office of the USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS has worked for more than 80 years in close partnerships with farmers and ranchers, local and state governments, and other federal agencies to maintain healthy and productive working landscapes. NRCS will cover practical soil health management systems to achieve and increase healthy soils.

This program will last approximately 90-minutes and conclude with a funder-only discussion.

This is the first of a two-part series on soil health. The second webinar will focus on state soil health initiatives and incentive programs. Details to follow.


Jake Reilly, program director, Chesapeake Bay, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation


Wayne Honeycutt, Ph.D., president & CEO, Soil Health Institute
Chris Lawrence, cropland Agronomist, USDA-NRCS

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