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United Nations recognizes World Soil Day

Celebration occurs each December 5

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

With Dec. 5 being recognized by the United Nations (UN) as World Soil Day, social media is abuzz highlighting the important role soil plays in everyday life and the issues impacting soils around the world.

"On World Soil Day, I call for greater attention to the pressing issues affecting soils, including climate change, antimicrobial resistance, soil-borne diseases, contamination, nutrition and human health," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on the organization’s website

And who knows more about soil than farmers?

"Farmers (use soil to) maintain an adequate and healthy food supply for human and livestock consumption as well as bioenergy and ecosystem health," said Andrew Sharpley, incoming president of the Soil Science Society of America. "It's quite a wide range of responsibilities farmers have on their shoulders found a collection of quotes from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service paying homage to soil and farmers’ relationships with it.

“To be a successful farmer one must know the nature of the soil.” – Xenophon, Oeconomicus, 400 B.C.

“…As a farmer, man himself became closely attached to the landscape, firmly rooted to the soil that supported him.” – environmentalist Charles E. Kellogg

“Soil erosion is as old as agriculture. It began when the first heavy rain struck the first furrow turned by a crude implement of tillage in the hands or prehistoric man. It has been going on ever since, wherever man’s culture of the earth has bared the soil to rain and wind.” – Hugh H. Bennett and W.C. Lowedermilk, 1930s.

A quote that’s been attributed to Paul Harvey, the man behind the ‘So God Made a Farmer’ speech, reads:

“Despite all our accomplishments, we owe our existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact it rains.”

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