Today’s Topic: New exhibit at Museum of Natural Sciences digs into secrets of soil

by | May 19, 2015

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

A new traveling exhibit at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh aims to educate us about the world beneath our feet. “Dig It! The Secrets of Soil” opened May 16 and continues through Aug. 16. Admission is free.

NCDA&CS employees Richard Reich, Beth Farrell and Paul Jones were on the exhibit planning committee, and David Hardy, chief of the department’s soil testing lab, helped with some of the agronomic components.

“Dig It!” uses videos, hands-on models, interactive displays and real soil samples to present an eye-opening story about soil, which is responsible for the vast majority of our food, fiber, building materials, clean water, medicine and climate regulation.

The exhibit was developed by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and curated by some of the country’s leading soil scientists. It explores the extensive role of soil in agriculture, architecture and construction, art and rituals, medicine, water filtration and more.

North Carolina has rich soil biodiversity that allows a variety of crops to flourish. Also, our clay-rich soils form the groundwork of the state’s status as the handmade pottery capital of the United States. The exhibit takes a look at both the art and science of pottery in North Carolina.

“Dig It!” is a very timely exhibit. The United Nations has designated 2015 as the International Year of Soils to raise awareness of their importance. This exhibit will be important to educating the public about the need for protecting our soils for the future.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss “Dig It!” and why it’s fitting for the exhibit to be in North Carolina.

[Audio:|titles=Today’s Topic for May 19]

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