Major new effort announced to restore soil

In heavily farmed parts of Central America, South America, and across the Caribbean, “the most degraded soils have not reached the point of no return. They can still be restored.”

So says CFAES’ Rattan Lal, Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and 2020 World Food Prize laureate, who’s helping lead a new, 34-country initiative to tackle that restoration.

Why it’s important: Some 36 million people in the region don’t have enough good food to eat, and degraded soils play a role in it. Success, Lal says, will mean “we can eliminate hunger and malnutrition in the region, and we can protect the natural resources that are now being degraded.”

Read the story.

Truckload of good

Last year, Ohioans working as Master Gardener Volunteers grew nearly 80,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables—equal to the weight of a fully loaded 18-wheeler, or about 65,000 meals—which they donated to some 101 food pantries across Ohio to help people in need.

Mike Hogan, an OSU Extension educator who facilitates the Master Gardener Volunteers program in Franklin County, said the need for such donations “significantly increased this year due to the pandemic.”

Master Gardener Volunteers are plant lovers who donate their expertise and time serving the public. CFAES’ outreach arm, OSU Extension, runs the program, which gives training and has volunteers in most of the state’s counties.

Read the full story.

CFAES sustainability news, Dec. 9, 2020

The world’s soil champion

Wicked Leeks (UK), Dec. 4; featuring Rattan Lal, School of Environment and Natural Resources

Scientist Linda Saif has been a trusted partner during pandemic

Farm and Dairy, Nov. 28; featuring Linda Saif, Food Animal Health Research Program

COVID-19 pandemic worsening food insecurity

Farm and Dairy, Nov. 26; featuring Zoe Plakias, Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

A day, a new effort on behalf of the soil

Today, on World Soil Day, CFAES celebrates the essential role of soil in sustaining life.

And we use this day to share exciting news. CFAES’ Rattan Lal Carbon Management and Sequestration Center and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture are teaming up to launch the new “Living Soils of the Americas” initiative. Its goals: Fight the degradation of soil, improve people’s food security.

Read more about the initiative.

Join CFAES in celebrating World Soil Day

We invite you to join us this Friday, Dec. 4, for a celebration of World Soil Day. Our free public virtual program will feature:

  • a keynote by Andrew Margenot of the University of Illinois;
  • a keynote by CFAES’ esteemed Rattan Lal; and
  • details on CFAES student research into soils, climate, farming, and food security.

Learn more and register now to attend.

Join new student org to work for food justice

CFAES animal sciences major and Eminence Fellow Elena McGoey recently shared details about a new Ohio State student organization. Called Cultivate Columbus, the group “aims to connect Ohio State students with local communities to develop innovative and sustainable solutions for food justice in Columbus.”

The group’s mission, she said, “is to promote sustainable practices, nourish communities, and enhance food security.”

To find out more and to join the group’s mission, follow @cultivatecbus on Instagram or visit go.osu.edu/cultivatecolumbus.

‘As goes the soil, so goes humanity’

CFAES last week honored its own Rattan Lal, 2020 World Food Prize Laureate, with a video retrospective of his life and career, which you can watch above. Lal is Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources.

The video includes the announcement that Lal’s name is being added to the center that he founded—what will now be called the Rattan Lal Carbon Management and Sequestration Center.

You can watch the World Food Prize award ceremony itself, which the World Food Prize Foundation hosted on Oct. 15, here.

‘We put together a small feast’

Eric Tiu, left, and Jameel Watson came together by chance as roommates, found they shared a common experience as former members of 4-H—Tiu in Ohio, Watson in Jamaica—and used that experience to dive into raising backyard chickens in New York City. Result: fresh local meat and eggs for themselves as well as for people in need.

Read the story. (Photo courtesy Eric Tiu.)