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4 the Earth Month Photo Contest Winners


4 the Earth Month Photo Contest winners. (Top left) A lamb lays in the grass, (Top right) a wheat field at sunset, (Bottom right) hands holding soil over red and green plants, (Bottom left) a diverse field of plants, (Center) 4 The Soil's logo for Earth Month

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the Earth Month 2022 Photo Contest! Thank you to all who submitted, and please stay tuned for more opportunities to win 4 The Soil "swag bags!"


For each of the four core principles of soil health management, one photographer received a 4 the Soil "swag bag" and will be featured throughout our campaign. See the winning photographs and learn their stories below.


 

Hands hold soil over crimson clover, a red flower cover crop
Photo by Swabir Alhassan Musah

Keep the Soil Covered: Swabir Alhassan Musah shared a photograph of the cover crop crimson clover grown on sandy soils. The cover crop was grown to study the residue decomposition and nutrient release patterns in sandy soil under no-tillage. The cover crops protect the soil against erosion and also improve the activities of soil microorganisms during the fallow period. Musah captured the photo at the Pee Dee Research and Education Center in Florence, South Carolina.


 

A baby lamb lays in the green grass
Photo by Aleta Daniels

Minimize Soil Disturbance: Aleta Daniels shared a photograph of sheep grazing on a variety of plants. They integrated livestock into their farm to help the land "be as productive and vibrant as possible."


"We practice compassionate livestock farming," Daniels explained. The sheep rotate daily, wait until warm weather to graze on pastures, and grow native and medicinal plant species throughout the pasture. "As a result, we have incredibly happy and productive sheep, and a thriving little ecosystem!" said Daniels. Seven adult sheep and seven baby sheep run around happily in Warrenton, Virginia.


 

A field of wheat under a partly cloudy sky at sunset
Photo by Gavin Meyers

Maximize Living Roots in the Soil: Gavin Myers shared a photograph of a wheat field bathed in the setting sunlight. Myers, an outdoor photographer, captured the moment on a June evening in Clear Spring, Maryland on the Myers Charolais Farm.


 

A field of diverse green and yellow plants, and tall trees stand in the background
Photo by Leo Tammi

Energize the Soil with Diversity: Leo Tammi shared a photograph of a field of sunflowers, partridge peas, millet, and buckwheat. It "makes for a diverse salad in the pasture and builds soil," Tammi described. Tammi captured the photo in Augusta County, Virginia.


 

Thank you to everyone who submitted! We would love to continue featuring photographs that highlight soil health and its impact on the world. Please feel free to send any submissions to msketch2@vt.edu.

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