From the Executive Director: Celebrating World Soil Health

World Soil Day has been observed annually on December 5th since 2014, when the United Nations General Assembly designated that date as the official first. Every year since, this annual observation has been designed to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources.

Reading stories this week describing 2021 World Soil Day celebrations and educational events around the global gave me a deeper appreciation for SFA’s boots-on-the-ground soil health work, and for our community of members, staff, consultants and supporters who are improving Minnesota’s soil health one farm at a time.

Back in 1981, the first World Soil Charter was conceived, formulated, negotiated and adopted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture member countries. It listed 13 soil health principles. In the 30 years since, the soil health challenges faced by the world have become more evident and severe, especially with respect to new issues such as soil pollution and its consequences for the environment, climate change adaptation and mitigation and urban sprawl impacts on soil availability and functions. This led to the production in 2015 of a revised World Soil Charter with updated soil health principles.

To me, the value of global celebrations like Earth Day or World Soil Day is that they provide an opportunity to step back and consider for a moment the depth of our commitment to making the world more sustainable – whatever that may mean to you. I hope you take a moment this week to celebrate your contribution to improving Minnesota’s soil health – on your farm, in your kitchen, at your restaurant, co-op or shop. It all matters and makes you part of a global movement.