On Saturday April 28, 2012, MN Governor Mark Dayton signed the legislation that included establishing Lester as the Minnesota State Soil. Finally! This has been something in the works in MN for a long time and I was really glad to see it finally passed and official. Many thanks to the Minnesota Association of Professional Soil Scientists (MAPSS) to keeping this going; it wasn’t a given that the legislation would be passed . A big help was the senate sponsor, a woman that is retiring this year, who took this bill on and understood the importance since she had done soil judging in 4H. She made a great speech supporting the bill and when she was done another senator commented that ‘maybe now we can stop treating our soil like dirt’.
MAPSS put together a very nice information sheet on the Lester Series, which also talks about their plans this year to celebrate their 40th anniversary and also the University of Minnesota Department of Soil, Water and Climate’s 100th anniversary. The Dig It Exhibit is on its way to St. Paul and the Bell Museum later this year to help with the celebration. Check out the information sheet here: https://www.soils.org/files/certifications/licensing/lester.pdf
Just a quick follow-up to the blog. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune ran an article this past weekend regarding the new state soil. It provides some additional insight as to how long this has been in the works and some quotes from legislators. You can find it here: http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/150303445.html