197-7 Soil Solutions: Creating a New Funding Model to Advance and Fund Soil Health Research.

See more from this Division: Special Sessions
See more from this Session: Symposium--Restoring Soil Health - Local Actions, Global Implications, Partnering for Solutions

Tuesday, November 17, 2015: 11:15 AM
Minneapolis Convention Center, 101 A

Bill Buckner, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK

The root system is the major organ system that plants rely on for water and nutrient uptake, while also benefiting the ecosystem (White et al., 2013). Therefore, it comes as no surprise that basic and applied research on roots have increased substantially in the past few years. As the major substrate that supports plant growth, the soil plays an equal if not more important role in specifying crop performance as roots. However, significant gaps exist in understanding soil and achieving soil health. Research to fill these gaps must be conducted to fully leverage investments made in root research. Furthermore, it is important to deliver results to farmers, ranchers and land managers to maximize the productivity of the soil and food producing lands, while ensuring its vitality for coming generations.   


In early 2015, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation launched the Center for Global Soil Health Research to support scientists as they address critical areas of soil health research. As a granting program, the Center will foster scientific and technological innovation to solve key soil health challenges that will ultimately benefit conservation, water and land stewardship efforts, agricultural producers, consumers and the worldwide scientific community. In 2015, the Noble Foundation will develop and execute the infrastructure to support the Center for Global Soil Health Research’s grant program, involve stakeholders and establish a multi-year research funding base and initial research strategies and priorities. Research funding opportunities are projected to be available in 2016.

Results and Discussion

The Center is an outcome of the foundational work from the Soil Renaissance (soilrenaissance.org), a joint effort of the Farm Foundation (www.farmfoundation.org)and the Noble Foundation that began in 2013. When fully operational, the Center will reach a broad range of scientists and researchers across geographies to collaborate on tangible solutions to real-world problems. The Center with a variety of funding partners will provide new research opportunities and resources to soil scientists, as well as researchers across scientific disciplines including plant root researchers, as they conduct projects in several focus areas surrounding soil health.

In addition to providing funding to the center, the Noble Foundation will administer research funding and deliver a public website that will offer information regarding soil health, practical tools for land stewards and scientific resources for current and future scientific soil health research. Moreover, research outcomes of the Center, such as a repository of soil health research data, are intended to be publically accessible for the scientific community around the world.


Lloyd Noble, oilman, philanthropist and founder of the Noble Foundation, said:  “When the soil is gone, so is the nation. A nation can never outlive the usefulness of the soil.” The Center for Global Soil Health Research will serve as a necessary catalyst to propel targeted, specific and vital research in soil health.

See more from this Division: Special Sessions
See more from this Session: Symposium--Restoring Soil Health - Local Actions, Global Implications, Partnering for Solutions

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