Moebius-Clune and Soil “Livestock”
By Rich Myers, NCAT Outreach Specialist
Dr. Bianca Moebius-Clune sees soil as a living ecosystem whose critters need attention, just like the animals in any agriculture operation.
“Every one of you who’s a farmer or even a gardener has livestock, because your livestock are in the soil, and you wouldn’t think to not feed them,” Dr. Bianca Moebius-Clune, said recently to producers in Kansas.
Dr. Moebius-Clune, Director of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Soil Health Division, is a leading champion and innovator in soil health. She leads a staff of regional and national specialists who provide training, direct assistance, science and technology integration, and leadership to soil health efforts across the country.
“(Soil health is) the continued capacity of a soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that supports plants, animals, and humans,” she told Indiana producers in an Indiana presentation. “It’s a living system, and we need to manage for a living system and that’s part of the paradigm shift that has been happening.”
“Our goal as an agency … has been to build these win-win regenerative soil-health management systems and for those to become commonplace. You know that’s really my vision and I think a lot of folks’ visions is that our new conventional agriculture becomes one of soil-health management systems.”
Dr. Moebius-Clune will be a speaker at the upcoming Soil Health Innovations Conference to share some of her vast soils knowledge during two panel discussions, “Soil Health Innovations in Action” and “Soil Health Innovations in Public Policy.”
To see the speakers who will be joining her on those panels, as well as the other speakers and the topics they’ll be taking on at the conference, you can view the agenda here.
Dr. Bianca Moebius-Clune
Director, Soil Health Division
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Dr. Moebius-Clune is the Director of the USDA-NRCS Soil Health Division. The division was created to lead agency NRCS strategies that facilitate producers in implementing science-based, effective, economically viable soil health management systems on the nation’s diverse agricultural lands, in collaboration with partner organizations.
Dr. Moebius-Clune came to NRCS in 2014 from Cornell University, where she served on the faculty as a senior extension associate and lecturer. She had research and extension responsibilities and taught a class in Sustainable Soil Management. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed and extension publications, as well as NRCS national technical material and policy, and has provided workshops and trainings nationally and internationally.
Dr. Moebius-Clune has conducted research on agricultural management impacts on soil health and N dynamics in the Northeast and Midwest, as well as in Kenya, and developed a framework for Soil Health Management Planning that is now nationally available through NRCS. She holds Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science from University of New Hampshire, all in soil science.