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Soil Science Society of America
5585 Guilford Road • Madison, WI 53711-5801 • 608-273-8080 • Fax 608-273-2021
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Contact: Susan V. Fisk, Public Relations Director, 608-273-8091,

Soils support health

Healthy soils mean healthy food, protects human health

July 29, 2015 — In celebration of the International Year of Soil 2015 (IYS), the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is coordinating a series of activities throughout the year to educate the public about the importance of soil.  August’s theme is “Soils Support Health.”

According to August’s IYS monthly leader Nick Comerford, “the nutrients that you get from your food come from soil. Food that is grown in fertile soil—full of good elements and minerals—packs more nutrition than food grown in less fertile soil.” Comerford is a soil scientist at University of Florida.

Here are some facts about soils and human health:

  1. Underground, life is full of diversity—there are millions of different microbes living in the soil.
  2. This biodiversity helps keep populations of disease-causing bacteria low.
  3. The antibacterial drugs Penicillin and Streptomycin were developed from soil microbes.
  4. The nutrients in your foods come from elements in the soil—so healthy soils mean healthy foods.

As part of their celebration of IYS, SSSA developed a series of twelve 2-minute educational videos. August’s “Soils Support Health” video can be viewed at Educational materials can be viewed at by clicking on the August tab.

Follow SSSA on Facebook at, Twitter at SSSA Soils.  SSSA also has a blog, Soils Matter, at  Additional soils information is on, for teachers at, and for students through 12th grade,

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

SSSA supports its members by providing quality research-based publications, educational programs, certifications, and science policy initiatives via a Washington, DC, office. Founded in 1936, SSSA proudly celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2011. For more information, visit or follow @SSSA_soils on Twitter.