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Soil Health PSA – Astronomer Dr. Laura Danly


As an astronomer, I’ve spent most of my
life looking deep into the universe. Every time I cast my eyes toward the heavens,
I look with a sense of awe and wonder. I want to know more, and seek to unlock the mysteries
of the stars. For me, it’s been a journey of learning
and of love – but most of all, it has been a journey of appreciation. Because the more I learn about our amazing
universe, the more I realize what a special home we have within that universe – right
here on planet Earth. It’s a planet full of life and wonder, but
most importantly, it’s the only home we’ll ever have. However, those of us living on this remarkable
planet are facing some very serious challenges… By the year 2050, the global population will
likely reach 9 billion people… Every day, through development and through
soil degradation like desertification, we lose more of the farmland we need to grow
our food… Across the globe, water and other resources
are becoming increasingly scarce… Climate change and extreme weather events
add to our food production challenges. But what if I told you a secret that might
just help us meet those challenges? And what if I told you, that secret lies not
in the stars but in the soil? For decades we thought that the best hope
for our living soil was to slow its loss. But farmers, ranchers, and scientists are
demonstrating that we can actually build healthier, more productive and more resilient soils. The key is to ensure a healthy habitat for
the billions upon billions of soil microbes that provide the foundation for all terrestrial
life. In this unseen, symbiotic universe, soil microbes
consume carbon, protect plants and provide them with vital nutrients, and build organic
matter to help store water in the soil profile. If we farm in ways that improve soil health,
we can harvest a wide range of on- and off-farm benefits—for ALL of us here on planet earth. So even as we seek to discover new worlds
out there, I encourage you to “Unlock the Secrets in the Soil” and learn more about
the elegant universe below. I’m Dr. Laura Danly. Long live the soil.
Long live planet earth.

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