Soil is Life

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“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all." ~ Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture

There's nothing more simultaneously local and global than soil, which is why the first vision session of this year’s BALLE Conference is a celebration of the earth beneath our feet. The 68th United Nations General Assembly declared 2015 as the Year of Soils, in recognition of the profound connection soil has to human life. It plays a significant role in economic growth, food security, reducing poverty, and combatting climate change. Soil is a key factor in the carbon cycle, our resiliency to floods and droughts, and the foundation for healthy food production and other vegetation that is cultivated for fiber, fuel and medicinal products. As a non-renewable resource, the preservation of our soil is vital to our sustainable future. 


In this session, America’s most famous farmer will join an investor and rancher, a food business entrepreneur, and a BALLE Fellow to explore what’s working to reconnect with and restore our soil. Learn how tribal nations are reclaiming the land as a source of economic development, ownership, and healing through traditional practices and how farmers are caring for our land through sustainable soil management practices. This vision session will offer an inspiring, big-picture perspective—setting the stage for the Soil & Nature conference track taking place the following day. 

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