This year, we celebrate World Soil Day amidst a global pandemic that’s testing the resilience of communities around the world. On top of that, we have all witnessed firsthand the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss, underscoring the importance of healthy ecosystems in transforming food systems.
If you live in a large city, you likely have the luxury to head to the grocery store or farmer’s market of your choice to buy produce. Whether you need sweet potatoes for your holiday yams recipe or kale to prepare meals for the upcoming work week, you rely on the fact that the items that you want are there waiting. It can be easy to forget how robust the global agriculture industry is that grows the food that we’ve become accustomed to buying on demand.
Today, on World Soil Day, I reflect on my years growing up in agriculture. My family’s dairy farm relied on our precious soil to grow the feed for the cows and keep us in business year after year. This was not easy in South Eastern Wisconsin, due to our heavy, clay soils, highly erodible hills and lots of lake effect rain when we needed it the least, during the spring and fall. As farmers, we knew we had to continuously adapt and protect against risks to our farm – and this meant protecting our soil.