Ag Science Café Discussion with Heather Y. Medina Sauceda

Heather Medina Sauceda, an USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Basin Leader, along with Cheyanne Rico, an USDA NRCS soil conservationist in the Upper Willamette and Central Coast basin hosted the August Ag Science Cafe. Their presentation focused on soil health and how soil is a vital living organism.

After their video presentation, Heather hosted a Q&A session with DIVE4Ag Teens as Teachers youth. Listen below to the DIVE4Ag teens’ questions and learn from Heather’s answers. You can find Heather and Cheyanne’s video presentation on the DIVE4Ag website.

Question 1

There were a lot of mentions of how important organisms in soils are, are there some organisms that are more vital than others?

Question 2

What does a typical day look like for your kind of work?

Question 3

What do you think has been your most important discovery/project/contribution to what you do?

Question 4

Why is topsoil so important, and why are we running out of it?

Question 5

Does the presence or absence of certain microorganisms affect the ability of certain crops to grow?

Question 6

How did you begin your career?

Question 7

What’s one of the most revolutionary things that have been able to help farmers keep their soil healthy?

Some examples of what a Roller-Crimper looks like:

Question 8

How is soil different across our state? What impact does the soil composition have on what crops can be grown in that area?

Question 9

Is global warming the cause of the topsoil eroding?

Question 10

Have you taught students about what you do before? If so, what do you mention often?

Question 11

Do chemicals, like pesticides, affect soil health or just the crops growing in the soil?

Question 12

In Eastern Oregon farmers can receive financial support to install pivots to help farmers be more efficient with their water. What other programs does NRCS offer to farmers to help them be more efficient?

Question 13

Does Oregon have a lot of top soil?

Soil pit typically seen in Soil/Land judging contests:

“Envirothon Soils pit profiling” by Gnomedude is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Thank you to Heather and Cheyanne for taking the time out of your days to teach us about soil health and the living organism that is soil!

The video presentation can be found on our website under the Ag Science Café section or by following the link below.

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