California Soils Week Gets Underway
Today, launches the California Healthy Soils Week when the many benefits of building healthy soils on our farms and ranches will be featured in Sacramento and in events around the state. Agriculture covers 43 million acres in crop and rangeland in California, producing over 400 crop and livestock products and supplying the majority of the country’s fruits, vegetables, nuts and dairy products. Fundamental to our robust agricultural production is the soil that is the basis for growing our vibrant food and fiber economy.
Soils week builds upon a long tradition of acknowledging the importance of soils to our economy, health and environment. In response to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the federal government, under President Roosevelt and Agriculture Secretary Wallace, created the Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The districts were a radical experiment in bringing farmers together with soils and other agronomy experts to democratically forge voluntary partnerships to better steward the land and avoid future catastrophic losses like the Dust Bowl, which displaced thousands and disrupted our food production.
Today, those districts, now known as Resource Conservation Districts in California, continue to thrive and provide the on-going technical assistance needed for farmers and ranchers who want to conserve their land while maintaining their businesses. With the new Climate Smart Agriculture Programs, like Healthy Soils, we have an opportunity to expand upon these partnerships with farmers and ranchers to further healthy soils practices that build soil, improve crop and forage yields and better our air and water quality.
Secretary Henry Wallace famously said, “People in cities may forget the soil for as long as a hundred years, but Mother Nature’s memory is long and she will not let them forget indefinitely.”
This week, we remember the importance of our soils and how, together with California farmers and ranchers, we can forge healthy soils and healthy lives.
For a complete list of CA Healthy Soils Week activities, click here: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/healthysoils/soilsweek.html
For more on the Healthy Soils Initiative and Program, click here: