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Senate Resolution Shines Spotlight on the Importance of Soils

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) applauds the visionary action taken by Senator Sherrod Brown and his colleagues in the Senate who helped usher in legislation to recognize soils as an “essential” natural resource, placing soil on par with water and air.

On June 23, Senator Brown was joined by co-sponsoring Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Ken Salazar (D-CO) and George Voinovich (R-OH) to successfully pass Senate Resolution 440, which also highlights the “critical role” soils professionals play in managing our nation’s soil resources.

“This resolution comes at a time when soil is widely undervalued,” says Rattan Lal, Ohio State University, SSSA Past President. “Soil, and specifically sound soil management, is essential in our continued quest to increase the production of food, feed, fiber, and fuel while maintaining and improving the environment, and mitigating the effects of climate change. Being the essence of all terrestrial life and ecosystem services, we cannot take the soils for granted. Soil is the basis of survival for present and future generations.”

The Senate resolution passed six months after the European Union’s Soil Protection Framework was tabled due to irreconcilable differences among Parliament membership.

“My years growing up working on our family farm taught me the value of hard work and the importance of soil,” says Senator Brown. “Often overlooked, healthy soil is vital to maintaining our natural resources and feeding our nation. This resolution is an important first step in cultivating awareness of our nation’s soil policies.”

The Resolution acknowledges the work of soil scientists and soil professionals to continue to enrich the lives of all Americans by improving stewardship of the soil, combating soil degradation, and ensuring the future protection and sustainable use of our air, soil, and water resources.

View the full Senate Soils Resolution at:

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

SSSA supports its members by providing quality research-based publications, educational programs, certifications, and science policy initiatives via a Washington, D.C. office. For more information, visit

SSSA is the founding sponsor of an approximately 5,000-square foot exhibition, "Dig It! The Secrets of Soil,” opening July 19, 2008 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

Sara Uttech | Newswise Science News
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