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New Awareness Campaign Encourages People To Think

Differently About Soil
by James Giese
November 13, 2011

Did you know that soil – yes, that ground beneath your feet – has a story to tell? In response to growing concerns about the condition of some of the world’s soils, the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) has launched a campaign called “The Story of Soil.” The Story of Soil campaign features a series of three Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in conjunction with the organization’s 75th Anniversary this year. The campaign is designed to educate the general public about the importance of healthy soils as well as introduce them to the soil science profession.

“Soil is a very complex ecosystem that supports life and is often associated with food production,” said SSSA President Charles Rice, Kansas State University. “However, with environmental news coverage revolving around concerns like climate change, water and air pollution, people often don’t give our soils a second thought.” Through this campaign, SSSA will tell the story of soil—the impact of healthy soil on such things as healthy food, water quality, and human health. “We’ve created messages that go beyond the obvious realm of soil’s impact on agriculture,” added Rice. “Soil actually serves many purposes. It acts as a filter for our water. It contains microorganisms that are used to treat diseases. Soil really is critical to life.”

The campaign officially began in October and targets a younger audience. “We will keep our message simple and not get too scientific,” said Rice. “It’s important we get the word out to younger generations as they are the ones charged with protecting our environment for future generations.”

As part of the campaign, a website has been developed to give people a place to go if they want to learn more about The Story of Soil, or get a glimpse into soil science in general.

For more information on The Story of Soil, or to view or download the PSAs in English and Spanish, visit To see the website, visit

About SSSA: 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.

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