Apr 26, 2022Texas A&M Soil and Water Stewardship Week recognizes importance of healthy soil
Texas A&M AgriLife agencies and institutes are joining with other organizations across the state to highlight the importance of voluntary land stewardship in Texas during Soil and Water Stewardship Week April 24 through May 1.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and its Texas Watershed Steward program, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute and Texas Water Resources Institute all work jointly to plan and implement management practices for our natural resources, oftentimes beginning with the soil.
Together they are working with the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, and Texas Wildlife Association to call attention to this year’s “Healthy Soil, Healthy Life” message.
Healthy soils, healthy lives
The basis of our lives begins with the soil beneath our feet. Soil provides the food on our plates, the clothes on our backs, the foundations for our homes and offices, the luscious grass that the children play in and the trees we need to breathe. It all starts with soil … healthy soil, healthy life.
Healthy soil gives us life through providing clean air and water, ample crops and forests, productive grazing lands, diverse wildlife and beautiful landscapes.
Soil does this by providing five essential functions:
— Water Management – Soil helps control where the rain, snowmelt and irrigation water goes. Water and dissolved solutes flow over the land or into and through the soil.
— Sustaining Plant and Animal Life – The diversity and productivity of living things depend on soil.
— Filtering and Buffering Potential Pollutants – The minerals and microbes in soil are responsible for filtering, buffering, degrading, immobilizing and detoxifying organic and inorganic materials.
— Cycling Nutrients – Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and many other nutrients are stored, transformed and cycled in the soil.
— Physical Stability and Support – Soil structure provides a medium for plant roots as well as support for human structures and protection for archeological treasures.
As the population of the state continues to increase, maintaining the productivity of our soil and water resources becomes increasingly vital in meeting the food, fiber and resource needs of all Texans.
Other partnering organizations in the “Healthy Soil, Healthy Life” campaign include Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas, Association of Rural Communities of Texas, Ducks Unlimited, Farmhouse Vineyards, North Texas Municipal Water District, Plains Cotton Growers, Texan by Nature, Texas Association of Dairymen, Texas Conservation Association for Soil and Water, Texas Corn Producers, Texas Farm Bureau, Texas Grain and Feed Association, Texas Poultry Association, Texas Wheat, Upper Trinity Conservation Trust, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Water Grows.