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CONFERENCE on CONNECTIONS BETWEEN SOIL HEALTH and HUMAN HEALTH
October 16, 2018 - October 17, 2018$300
Soil quality has long been considered in terms of its measurable physical and chemical attributes. Recent advances in technologies and methods for soil biology have allowed the field of soil
health to become increasingly meaningful. Soil health is defined as “the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans.” Healthy soils contribute to a range of ecosystem functions as appropriate to the environment, such as sustaining
plant and animal productivity and biodiversity, maintaining or enhancing air and water quality, and supporting human health and habitation.
Many in the community of agriculture and food sciences, as well as some in the human and veterinary medicine communities, see potentially major benefits from an improved understanding of connections between soil health (and the farming practices that promote it) and human health. Such connections may occur through the impact of land management, crop and livestock production, commodity processing, and other aspects of food production on the nutritional quality of foods, food safety, environmental quality, the human microbiome, and other factors.
This topic was addressed in brief among many others at a recent conference, “Soils: The Foundation of Life” hosted by the U.S. National Committee for Soil Sciences of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, DC in December 2016. However, there has been no major conference focusing specifically on the topic, especially as techniques for studying the soil and human microbiomes have advanced both areas of science.