Today’s episode features soil scientists Dr. Steve Rosenzweig of General Mills and Dr. Abbey Wick of North Dakota State University.
There’s been plenty in the media and even on this show about the idea of paying farmers for carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services. But what often gets lost in the conversation is how do changes in practices like reducing tillage, planting cover crops, integrating livestock, etc. actually happen? I mean there’s a lot of risk involved. In some cases there is new equipment that needs to be purchased, new techniques to develop, new thought processes to exercise and new expertise needed. Sure, financial incentives can help with this, but what’s equally important are collaborators, supporters and trusted advisors.
That’s what today’s show is all about. We’ll start out by talking to Dr. Steve Rosenzweig about General Mills interest in soil health. Where that’s coming from, what it means to their business and what led them to programs like the Trusted Advisor Partnership in North Dakota. Then we’ll talk to Dr. Abbey Wick who is an associate professor and soil health extension specialist at North Dakota State University about this Trusted Advisor Partnership program, how it works, and why its important. Then we’ll wrap things up with both Abbey and Steve to discuss why it’s important for food companies to collaborate in this way.
Both of these interviews were originally conducted for the Soil Sense podcast, which I co-host with Abbey. If this stuff interests you, I highly recommend you check that show out. The full interviews for the audio you’re about to hear can be found as episodes one and two of the current Soil Sense season.