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International Year of Soils: October 2015

Soils and the products we use

By Diego Flammini,

As declared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2015 is paying homage to soils through the International Year of Soils.

The yearlong celebration looks to educate and inform people about the many roles soil plays in daily life, even if it mostly goes unnoticed and is taken for granted.

Many different organizations, including the World Rural Reform and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) are doing their part to raise awareness about the importance of soil.

To promote many of soil’s uses, SSSA puts out a short, monthly video that focuses on a different theme.

October’s theme is “Soils and the products we use”.

“All of our food and many of our everyday objects depend on soil as a natural resource,” said the video’s host Jim Toomey. “Back when most people lived on farms or in small communities, everyone knew that their food came from farms and that farms had soil.”

Toomey said with many of the other everyday distractions, there’s a disconnection when it comes to understanding how products get from the farm to the grocery store.

“Some growers and restaurants have started a movement called ‘farm to table’ to help educate the public about the importance of soils and farms to our nutrition,” he said.  Farmers know how important the soil is, and work hard to maintain the health of their soil.

Be sure to go back and discover the other themes highlighting soils in 2015.

January – Soils Sustain Life
February – Soils Support Urban Life
March – Soils Support Agriculture
April – Soils Clean and Capture Water
May – Soils Support Buildings and Infrastructure
June – Soils Support Recreation
July – Soils are Living
August – Soils Support Health
September - Soils Protect the Natural Environment

Tell us what you’ve learned about soil over the past 10 months. How will you apply that new knowledge going forward?

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We are taking students out to southern Manitoba to Hespler Farms! Farmer Wayne will teach students how he plants and cares for his potato crop and why potatoes are such a unique crop to grow. Teachers, check out your AITC Dashboard for Math'd Potatoes, a potato-themed classroom resource to pair with this tour video. Thank you to Peak of the Market and Penner Farm Services for making this event possible.


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