Introducing the Iowa XProject

Agriculture and the farming of the Earth’s soils is the foundation of the health of our economy, and the health of our world. Our current degenerative global agricultural system results in 75 billion tons of topsoil loss per year through erosion. This has an estimated cost of USD 400 billion to farmers and society (Lal, 2001). In addition, agriculture currently releases up to 12 gigatons of CO2 equivalent per year, with the food system as a whole releasing up to 16.9 gigatons per year (Gilbert, 2012).  Meanwhile agribusiness and food are a $5 trillion business globally (Goedde, 2015). At the same time, agriculture holds the potential to become a massive net carbon sink sequestering billions of tons of CO2 per year into the world’s soils and above-ground biomass (Toensmeier, 2016). The value that healthy soil brings—not only to the nutrient density of our food, but also as soil’s key function in the carbon cycle that regulates the earth’s atmosphere—is not accounted for in the financial ledgers of agribusiness. Considering the market trends in the outpacing of ​natural products​ over conventional products in consumer-packaged goods, and the growing

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