Monday, July 4, 2022


July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.


The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

New Mexico Spills the Dirt on Healthy Soil Practices


Friday, March 11, 2022   

Just three years after the New Mexico Healthy Soil Act was approved by lawmakers, the Land of Enchantment is boasting more "soil health champions" than any other state, according to the Soil Health Champions Network.

The Act authorized the New Mexico Department of Agriculture to provide financial assistance to help residents implement conservation projects focusing on one or more of five "healthy soil" principles.

Robb Hirsch, co-founder of the Healthy Soil Working Group and education director at the Climate Change Leadership Institute, said urban and rural New Mexicans, both consumers and producers, benefit from better soil health.

"Ninety-five percent of the food we eat comes from out of state," Hirsch pointed out. "We could increase the amount of food we consume from our local ranchers and farmers, and if we do that, we can grow our economy in a very regenerative way."

Last month, New Mexico lawmakers approved $1 million in funding for the soil program.

A major healthy soil principle is keeping the ground covered, which typically means cover crops, planted to "cover" the soil rather than for harvesting. While cover crops are common in the Midwest, Hirsch noted they are also critical in arid and semiarid regions like New Mexico, because they can prevent or reduce soil erosion and enhance soil health.

"When you cover the soil and cover the ground, and you have biodiversity at work," Hirsch explained. "You have a soil that actually infiltrates and captures the little water that we do get, instead of running off with flooding."

Three years ago, the World Resources Institute ranked New Mexico first among U.S. states facing extreme water stress due to climate change. Hirsch added it is all the more reason to advocate for healthy soil.

"Soil is a most precious life force, fundamental to our well-being," Hirsch contended. "We should invest majorly in it here in the Land of Enchantment."

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture recently announced its Healthy Soil Program will accept grant applications from farmers and ranchers for funding to help them manage their working lands using these principles. Applications will be accepted from March 18-May 12.

get more stories like this via email
The United States celebrates Independence Day while Congress investigates the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Bob/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This July 4th marks nearly 250 years since the United States declared its independence, setting the country on a path to establishing its democracy…

Social Issues

It's July 4th, a celebration of the United States' independence. It's also an opportunity to take a look at the state of the country's democracy…

Social Issues

July 4th celebrates the founding of the United States' democracy - and some say it's time to recommit to defending that democracy. In the wake of …

While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021