Guest Seminar: Priorities and Strategies for Advancing Soil Health
Date and Time
Crop Science 202
Priorities and Strategies for Advancing Soil Health
Research shows that improving soil health can enhance water quality, increase C sequestration, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, boost crop yield, increase nutrient availability, contribute pollinator habitat, increase drought resilience, and build disease suppression. To achieve these benefits, the Soil Health Institute was established in late 2015 to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soils through scientific research and adoption. With input from its numerous stakeholders, the Soil Health Institute developed Enriching Soil, Enhancing Life: An Action Plan for Soil Health to identify key priorities and corresponding strategies for addressing gaps in research, measurements, economics, communications, education, and policy that will be presented and discussed in this seminar.
About the Speaker
Dr. Wayne Honeycutt is President and CEO of the Soil Health Institute, where he leads the Institute’s programs to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soils. He previously served for 5 years as Deputy Chief for Science and Technology with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service in Washington, DC, where he led programs in technology acquisition, development, and transfer to ensure NRCS conservation practices reflect the latest scientific advances for conserving the nation’s soil, water, air, plant, animal, and energy resources. He served as a Research Soil Scientist for 14 years and a Research Leader for 10 years with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Orono, Maine, where he led and conducted interdisciplinary research on carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycling and sustainable cropping systems development. In those roles he led national research teams for predicting nutrient availability, developed procedures adopted by ARS for enhancing national research coordination, published 9 book chapters and over 80 scientific journal articles, and received regional and national awards for technology transfer.
He is a graduate of the “Mastering the Art of Public Leadership” executive development program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC and USDA’s “Performance Excellence and Knowledge” executive development program. He has served on assignments to the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, USDA-ARS National Program Staff, and USDA-ARS Area Office Staff.
Wayne’s commitment to agriculture is rooted in his experiences with raising tobacco, corn, and other crops on his family’s 120-acre farm in Kentucky. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Forestry and Master's degree in Soil Science from the University of Kentucky, and a Ph.D. in Soil Genesis from Colorado State University. He was the 2018 recipient of the Hugh Hammond Bennett Award, the highest honor bestowed on an individual by the Soil and Water Conservation Society.