NORMAL, Ill. — The Illinois Soybean Association is a sponsor of the Heartland Community College Soils Lab, which is part of the college’s new modern ag complex designed to serve the educational and ag workforce needs of central Illinois.
“The investment in the soils lab is a good use of our checkoff dollars as it will benefit students and future farmers,” said Jim Martin, ISA District 6 director.
The soils lab is a learning space designed to give students hands-on experience in a lab setting, as well as in demonstration plots around the exterior of the building, for an in-and-out educational setting.
“Whether students go on to become sales agronomist or plant breeders, educating students about soil history, development, functions and health is vital to keeping our Illinois soils protected,” said ISA Director of Agronomy Abigail Peterson.
“There is an imminent need for more students to know the science behind soil management as we face increased soil loss, nutrient loss and undergo changing climate patterns. Soils are a living system, and having a lab environment to comprehend the chemical, biological and physical aspects of soil functions is a great tool for teachers to demonstrate the phenomena that are hard to grasp from just a textbook.”
Sponsorship of the lab will provide ISA with unlimited use of the space for future trainings or meetings and a seat on the advisory panel where the association will provide input into the lab’s work, findings and equipment purchases.