- Education and Training: demonstration, extension, workshop, youth education
- Natural Resources/Environment: grass waterways, habitat enhancement, soil stabilization
- Soil Management: soil quality/health
- Sustainable Communities: leadership development
The new Purdue Soil Health Education website, www.purdue.edu/SoilHealth, was created to share soil health educational activities, introductory (short) videos, pictures, and general information with a broad public audience. The photo and video libraries are useful for any educator teaching about soil health. Teacher resources include hands-on and exploratory learning activities on soil basics and soil health. The learning activities include a brief introduction, the activities, introductory videos, and, in many instances, additional resources. Videos and print resources come from both Purdue and USDA-NRCS. The content was generated and reviewed by Purdue College of Agriculture faculty, staff, and teachers. This website was created to help the public better understand the importance of healthy and how to create it with an ultimate goal of sustaining farming practices far into the future.
Short-term outcomes expected are increased participant knowledge of the importance of soil health and an awareness of farming and gardening practices that improve or decrease soil health. Educators and other Ag professionals, teachers, and farmers are expected to learn about (or more about) the importance of healthy soil and the techniques and resources that they can use to teach others about soil health. Many educators (teachers, governmental agency personnel, Extension Educators, and others), both those who attended trainings and received our soil health activity kits, and those that found the website online, are expected to use the website resources in their own trainings with farmers, colleagues, other adults, and youth. High school teachers are a primary audience for these resources and their stated need for these educational materials was the impetus for the creation of the Purdue Soil Health website.
Working with many other colleagues and through multiple venues we hope that the long-term outcome of our combined work results in improved soil health in the Midwest. Improving soil health will lead to increased sustainability for farmers, improved environmental quality, and better protection of a nonrenewable, on-farm resource: soil. Collaborations between organizations to plan and provide soil health educational workshops (sharing resources and staff) will increase their capacity to provide programs in sustainable agriculture. These efforts will ultimately enhance the economic stability of farmers.