The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) was launched just shy of a year ago with seed funding in part from Monsanto and technical support from The Nature Conservancy (TNC). That may seem like a case of strange bedfellows, but everyone has the same goal of healthier soils.
At the first Soil Health Summit last week in St. Louis, Monsanto Sustainability Business Development Lead Kevin Coffman said having partners in the environmental community is very helpful to the effort. “They’ve certainly thought about this a very long time,” said Coffman about the role of TNC and the Environmental Defense Fund in the partnership. “So, it was a natural partnership to bring them together.”
Coffman was pleased with the summit and the progress of the SHP to date. “This was really our first chance to get the cooperating farmers face to face to share more about they’re doing,” he said. Interview with Kevin Coffman, Monsanto
Carrie Vollmer-Sanders, who is Director of the Western Lake Erie Basin Project for The Nature Conservancy, is also a farmer and she says the partnership is helping her learn a lot about her own farm. “(We’re) taking a closer look at the management of what we’re doing with cover crops versus no cover crops,” she said, adding that they ultimately hope to learn what the benefits are for the soil. “Really that can change the game for agriculture…it’s not just yield that we’re talking about.” Interview with Carrie Vollmer-Sanders, The Nature Conservancy