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A series of 10-to-15-minute, science-centered “PED Talks” on soil health has been posted on YouTube. Soil peds are aggregated particles of sand, silt, clay and organic matter. Like their namesake, PED Talks combine soil-related topics including explanations of soil health, how we can improve it, and the progress that’s being made to ensure we have the healthy soils necessary to feed, clothe and fuel the world in the future.

The PED Talks series was created by the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC), Soil Health Institute (SHI), Soil Health Partnership (SHP), Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

The inaugural PED Talks include a video introduction from NRCS Chief Matt Lohr and the following presentations:

  • Shannon Cappellazzi of SHI on “Soil Health Diagnosed as You’ve Never Heard Before”
  • Alex Fiock of SHP on “Focusing on Soil Health from the Ground Up”
  • Barry Fisher of the NRCS Soil Health Division and Betsy Bower of Ceres Solutions Cooperative presenting “Partnering to Enhance Soil Health” and
  • Jane Hardisty, former NRCS Indiana State Conservationist on “You Are Changing the World!”

NRCS Chief Matt Lohr said, “People say that clean water is the key to life on the planet, but the very same thing can be said about healthy soil – it is literally the foundation to productive agriculture, balanced wildlife habitats, and an overall healthy environment for all. These PED Talks are not only useful for our nation’s agricultural producers, but for our educators, policy makers and the general public. We all benefit from good soil health!”

Bruce Knight, a former NRCS chief, was a key collaborator on the series’ development.

“These PED talks are engaging and interesting to a wide range of audiences, from farmers to consumers, conservation organization staffers and people throughout the food production and value chain, because soil health is a goal that unifies us all,” Knight said. “They’re entertaining, they’re informative, and they deliver insight from some of the country’s leaders in the science and practice of improving soil health.”

Participating conservation-oriented organizations are also excited about the talks.

Mike Komp, Executive Director of CTIC , explained, “The PED Talks series brings context, insight and even humor to soil health and explains why healthy soil is so vital to feeding the world. Soil health is essential to keeping our agricultural lands productive and profitable, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with such great organizations to help get the word out.”

SHP Senior Director John Mesko said, “Through strong outcome-based collaborations, we have seen greater awareness and adoption of soil health practices. SHP is proud to be part of the launch of the PED Talks to continue providing resources to farmers to ensure they have access to the best information to make the right decisions for their farm.”

Said Clare Lindahl, CEO of SWCS, “We see PED Talks as an opportunity for the nation’s conservation professionals to share their stories about soil health. It is through these stories we can learn from one another’s experiences and together advance the art and science of soil and water conservation.”

Wayne Honeycutt, President and CEO of SHI, added, “Soil health is the powerhouse of sustainability and the foundation of regenerative agriculture. Healthy soil improves resiliency to flood and drought, filters our water, and is an important key to improving carbon storage. We’re eager to share information with everyone who has an interest in soil health.”

Three of the talks were recorded at this year’s SWCS annual conference in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and one was recorded at SHI’s annual meeting in Sacramento, California. All the talks are available on a PED Talks YouTube channel. The partners plan to continue recording additional presentations and releasing them on the PED Talks channel, with a focus on the next generation of scientists and farmer/innovators.

Click here to visit the PED Talks channel on YouTube.


About the Conservation Technology Information Center

The Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) serves as a clearinghouse of information on sustainable agricultural systems that are productive, profitable and preserve natural resources. CTIC brings together farmers, policy makers, regulators, academic researchers, agribusiness leaders, conservation group personnel, farm media and other interested stakeholders.

About the Soil Health Institute

The Soil Health Institute is a non-profit whose mission is to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement. The Institute works with its many stakeholders to identify gaps in research and adoption; develop strategies, networks and funding to address those gaps; and ensure beneficial impact of those investments to agriculture, the environment and society.

About the Soil Health Partnership

The Soil Health Partnership is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm. For more information, visit https://soilhealthpartnership.org.

About the Soil Science Society of America

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

About the Soil and Water Conservation Society

The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) is the premier international organization for professionals who practice and advance the science and art of natural resource conservation.

About the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service

NRCS provides farmers, ranchers and forest managers with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring.

For more information, contact:

CTIC (Mike Komp,  )

SWCS (Clare Lindahl,  )

SHI (Wayne Honeycutt,  )

SHP (John Mesko,  )

SSSA (Luther Smith,  )

USDA-NRCS (Bianca Moebius-Clune,  )