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David W. Wolfe introduces the panel of not-for-profit organizations – Dave Grusenmeyer from the NY Farm Viability Institute, David Haight of American Farmland Trust, Elizabeth Henderson of NOFA-NY, Rebecca Benner from The Nature Conservancy. Jeff Williams from the Farm Bureau is not in the photo.

By Elizabeth Henderson

The era of soil health is dawning – that is the conclusion we heard from David Montgomery, keynote speaker at the New York Soil Health Summit, and the theme of his hot-off-the-presses book Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soils Back to Life. Organized by David W. Wolfe, Cornell Professor of Plant and Soil Ecology, the summit brought together 140 people to hear the latest developments underway in research, farming practices and policy related to building soil organic matter and increasing carbon in the soil. A major summit goal is to complete a “Road Map” that will set forth this information.  The 39 organizations represented at the summit covered the full range from the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) to the Farm Bureau. The exciting news is that this broad spectrum of organizations, farmers, researchers and government agency staffers are coming to consensus about the critical importance of soil health and the need for a soil health program for our state.

Maryellen Sheehan and I attended on behalf of NOFA-NY and left feeling very encouraged. The highest policy priority for NOFA’s New York Organic Action Plan is to: “Create a Healthy Soils Program in NYS: Support research to increase understanding of soil health and the connection between soil health, the nutritional value of food and human health, and provide technical assistance and tax and other incentives to farms that build healthy soil and increase soil carbon, and disincentives for pollution and erosion.” (http://www.nofany.org/images/New%20York%20State%20Top%20Ten.pdf) The broad coalition that can push this through is in formation. Continue reading “A Consensus is Forming – Report on NY Soil Health Summit, July 18, 2018”

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