Stewardship Week 2009 – Dig It! The Secrets of Soil

Stewardship Week – Dig It! The Secrets of Soil

Governor Brad Henry has proclaimed April 26 – May 3, 2009, as Soil and Water Stewardship Week in Oklahoma. The 2009 Stewardship Week theme is “DIG IT! The Secrets of Soil.” The National Association of Conservation Districts developed correlating education materials based on an exhibition created by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and sponsored by the Soil Science Society of America and the Nutrients for Life Foundation.

Soil supports forests, wetlands, grasslands, tundra, and aquatic ecosystems. Soil makes up the outer layer of the earth’s surface, it nourishes the plants we eat, the animals we use for food and fiber and the thriving underground kingdom of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, earthworms and other microbes that are critical to the planet’s food web. Soil, directly and indirectly, affects agricultural production, water quality and climate. Thanks to the earth’s soils, most of the rainfall hitting the planet is trapped and absorbed, watering plants and replenishing aquifers, rivers, lakes and streams.

“Stewardship Week is a time when we recognize the hard work of agriculture producers and other landowners do to conserve our soil, water, air, wildlife habitats and other natural resources,” said Mike Thralls, executive director of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission. “It’s important that we let folks know what we do to protect the environment as part of our farming and ranching operations. It’s also important that we educate our fellow ag producers and other citizens on the importance of the stewardship ethic and the need to care for our environment. We are glad to have Monsanto working with us to do this.”

Stewardship Week is one of the world’s largest conservation-related observances. Since 1955, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and OACD have sponsored the national Stewardship Week program. During this week, Local Conservation Districts will work with media outlets, communities, faith-based groups and local schools to promote the concept of Stewardship. This concept involves personal and social responsibility, including a duty to learn about and improve natural resources as we use them wisely, leaving a rich legacy for future generations.

Tools for Conservation Districts:

Click here for a sample fill-in-the-blank news release for use by local conservation districts

Click here for a printable version of Gov. Henry’s Soil and Water Stewardship Week proclamation

The text of the Governor’s Proclamation:

Governor’s Proclamation

Whereas, fertile soil and clean water provide us with our daily sustenance; and

Whereas, effective conservation practices have helped provide us a rich standard of living; and

Whereas, our security depends upon healthy soil and clean water; and

Whereas, stewardship calls for each person to help conserve these precious resources; and

Whereas, the theme for Soil and Water Stewardship Week for 2008 is “Dig It! The Secrets of Soil;”

Now Therefore, I , Brad Henry, Governor of the State of Oklahoma, do hereby proclaim

April 26 to May 3, 2009, as

Soil and Water Stewardship Week

in the State of Oklahoma.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and
caused the seal of my office to be affixed.

Done at the Capitol , in the City of Oklahoma City, this 3rd of April, in the Year of Our Lord two thousand and eight, and of the State of Oklahoma in the one hundredth and first year.

Brad Henry, Governor

M. Susan Savage, Secretary of State