Healthy Soils Law Project

Exploring Agri-Environmental Policy in the United States

"The whole problem of health in soil, plant, animal and man is one great subject" - Albert Howard

Agriculture today is responsible for about ten percent of national greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbating climate change and limiting the availability of vital soil-based ecosystem services like nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, and water regulation.

Research shows that if soil organic matter is increased – even slightly – across the world’s croplands, grasslands, and forest lands, it is possible to remove atmospheric carbon, reduce harmful emissions of greenhouse gases, promote whole landscape function, and meanwhile, maintain or even increase harvests and production quality.

In a warming climate, where agriculture is increasingly vulnerable ecologically and economically, governments at all levels face the policy challenge of supporting both healthy economies and healthy ecosystems across the agricultural sector.

About the Project

The Healthy Soils Law Project is an investigation of strategies for state governments to develop policy mechanisms that effectively support environmental stewardship in U.S. agriculture.

Student researchers explore the complex issues that inform decision-making from the farm level to the policy level, through policy research and legal analysis, multisectoral community engagement, and creative policy design.