Soil health has become a topic of discussion at many levels across the State of Minnesota.

In order to provide a way for those who are interested in learning more about that idea and how to implement good soil health practices in one’s farming operation a new entity has been established.

It is known as the Minnesota Soil Health Coalition, and it kicked off its official start Aug. 16 at an event held at the Grant and Dawn Breitkreutz farm near Delhi in Redwood County.

A number of people came out to take in the kickoff event and to learn more about what it means to practice good land stewardship. 

According to its Web site, the coalition’s establishment is “due to producers implementing soil health practices understanding the importance of a producer driven, producer led soil health organization in Minnesota to provide information, support and networking.”

The coalition is intended to be a resource to promote the principles of soil health.

According to Brian Pfarr, who is a member of the coalition board, there are a lot of good things going on across Minnesota, but those who are doing it are scattered statewide.

“So this is a point where we can bring everybody together and go through one avenue to learn about soil health,” said Pfarr during the kickoff. “We are extremely proud of our organization, and we have come a long way in two years.”

Pfarr added a farmer recently told him as he learned about the coalition and its efforts that this was the first time he as a long-time farmer ever felt like producers and agencies were truly working together toward the same cause.

Thom Petersen, Minnesota Department of Agriculture commissioner said since taking over his role he has traveled the state looking at different soil health practices, adding the coalition culminates all of what he has observed.

“The idea is that we are making progress,” said Petersen.

Troy Daniell, Minnesota director of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, called the coalition a big deal for the state.

“Since the 30s we have been putting band-aids on the land,” said Daniell. “This is different than a band-aid.”

Daniell said the coalition moves the needle beyond sustaining and maintaining as it rebuilds the soil.

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