Advocacy Groups Say Nebraska Soil is in Trouble

People with Green Bellevue and advocacy group GC Resolve say the local soil in Nebraska is in trouble.

Sunday, the two groups came together to bring awareness to the problem and share solutions.

The advocates are pushing for something called Regenerative Agriculture to put an end to bad soil.

"I thought coming today I'd get a clear picture of some solutions that we need to do and I did! Very very very informative," says Alisha Shelton, who attended today's presentation.

Soil that is healthy has benefits.

You get better food for livestock and better produce.

Advocates with GC Resolve say the way our soil is being treated now could lead to problems in the future.

Graham Christensen, president and founder of GC Resolve says, "The way that we're practicing agriculture widespread now, this isn't everybody, but this is the larger percentage of farmers, is having damaging consequences to the ground and the soil and as well as is further exasperating the rising greenhouse gas emissions."

Regenerative agriculture means going back to traditional farming methods.

That includes cover cropping, prairie restoration, forestry and letting livestock graze.

GC Resolve advocates say all these things can in-turn help our soil.

"If you practice agriculture in a way which is allowing more erosion or more contaminants to leech into the water, a lot of that happens upstream and can roll down into the metro area and have long-lasting health impacts to the public so we want to get ahead of those things and kind of limit it," says Christensen.

During his presentation, Christensen also cited things that could potentially harm the soil.

For example, the Costco poultry farms in Fremont, NE that would see 520 barns built.

Each barn would house more than 47,000 birds.

"You don't hear much about all the things Graham talked about today on the news. You just hear about Costco's coming and it's going to be great for our financial rewards of the area, but you don't hear anything about the horrible things that it's going to be doing to our earth and our health and our water," says Sharon Rea, president of Green Bellevue.

Christensen says regenerative agriculture will also make the land more resilient, which will help future generations of farmers.

"Of course, for the farmer, the great benefit is that they're able to utilize regenerative practices to actually reduce their input costs and save just on their bottom line," says Christensen.

For the everyday person, Christensen says one way you can help is by having a relationship with local farmers and finding a way to get local produce.

He also says little things like recycling and composting can help the soil too.

By Shirelle Moore/KPTM