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Soil Sense

89 EpisodesProduced by NDSU ExtensionWebsite

Welcome to the Soil Sense Podcast, where we believe that building healthier soils is not just a prescription, but rather a pursuit. This journey requires collaboration, curiosity, and communication among farmers, agricultural researchers, agronomists, consultants, and extension. You’re going to hear… read more


Soil Health and the City

Today we are joined by Sally Jacobson, Executive Director of the Red River Zoo, and Dr. Abbey Wick, Soil Health Extension Specialist. The unlikely collaboration between NDSU Extension and the Red River Zoo has led to an innovative outreach program telling the story of modern day agriculture. The Red River Zoo has had a longtime focus of “education through fun” with a focus on conservation and their zoo farm exhibit is no different.

The zoo farm was due to be updated a few years ago with the focus being a “story that hasn’t been told” in modern agriculture. Enter Dr. Abbey Wick. A frequent visitor to the zoo, she saw this as an opportunity to help farmers with their “messaging to the public.” Sally welcomed her assistance to promote education and illustrate how farmers are “stewards of their land.”

“From there it was just this really great partnership on what we could bring from the NDSU extension side and through connections that I have in agriculture through our commodity groups and through other industry people. And how it could really partner up with the conservation message of the zoo.” - Dr. Abbey Wick

Precision agriculture, interactive farming equipment, drone capabilities and of course soil health are all on display for kids and adults alike to engage with and learn from. The “Agriculture Adventure Day” provides another opportunity for the public to get a hands on experience with agriculture including but not limited to a big worm bin and planting seeds. One of the highlights for Dr. Wick is allowing farmers to share their legacy with the public.

“It just seemed like a great space to help farmers, not in their fields, but help them share their message about modern agriculture and sustainability and building soils and soil health.” - Dr. Abbey Wick

This unlikely collaboration has sparked a conversation regarding outreach to the public by agriculture in the future. Sally recommends “looking at your language that you’re using and finding those common threads.” This brings the public in out of curiosity and leads to a fun, exciting and informative experience that everyone can enjoy.

“It’s not about preaching to people…..but just to encourage people to explore and learn more and love the natural world. I think it’s critically important for us all as people.” - Sally Jacobson

This Week on Soil Sense:

  • Meet Sally Jacobson, Executive Director of the Red River Zoo
  • Explore the unexpected collaboration between NDSU’s Extension and the Red River Zoo
  • Learn effective and proven tips for how to communicate and spread awareness about agriculture with the public

Visit Red River Zoo to see the Zoo Farm and share your story as part of the agriculture industry

Connect with Soil Sense:

Soil Sense Podcast is hosted by Tim Hammerich of the Future of Agriculture Podcast.

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