When people learn that I study the soil, the typical response is usually a laugh, because they think I’m joking, and then followed by the question: Why study soil? While at the 2015 National Soil Judging Competition in Arkansas the University of Illinois Soil Judging team was asked just this question by a motivational speaker staying at our hotel. He asked us: What do you do? And Why do people want to grow up and be a soil scientist when they could become a doctor or a CEO? In all honesty he probably didn’t even realize that the reason the building we were standing in was not collapsing, and the reason that he could have delicious fresh fruits and vegetables for lunch was because of the soil.
Soil is arguably the most important natural resource in the world. It produces the food we eat, naturally filters the water we drink, and supports the many structures that humans have built their lives upon. This is why it is so important to study it. This is why we have to take care of it, and this is why we have to understand it and the processes that occur beneath our feet. Soil degradation is a leading global issue that often gets brushed under the rug and will cost us dearly in the long run.
Bonn Perspectives is an organization that strives toward the recognition of global sustainability issues such as soil degradation. They produced this video that explains the importance of finding a solution soil degradation and how important soil is to society as a whole. They explain why studying soil is so important in the video below: