Julie Fritsch

UPDATE 4/12/17: Participate in National Soil Sample Collection Program and Earn Money for Your Ag Program

Discussion created by Julie Fritsch on Apr 11, 2017

4/12/17 - The BioAg Alliance received an overwhelming response to this post yesterday and as a result have as many ag programs as they can handle at this time. If the opportunity becomes available again, we will post an update on Communities of Practice.

The BioAg Alliance, a partnership between biotech company Novozymes and Monsanto, needs your help. It is seeking microbes that can be used to help farmers increase yields, reduce inputs, and grow healthier plants. The search for those microbes begins with the soil, and that’s where your ag program comes in.


The Alliance is seeking ag programs who would be willing to submit a soil sample from their geographical area. In return, your ag program will earn $250 for your participation, plus your students can learn about how soil science is creating cutting-edge solutions for agriculture. This opportunity is perfect for schools with school farms or land labs, but also for those who might have a partner in the community who has land that fits the requirements.


To be eligible as a sample site, your soil must:

  • Come from a field growing corn, soybeans or wheat
  • OR come from a field that has not been cultivated for at least ten years – native grasslands are preferred
  • Be accompanied by a basic description of soil taxonomy, a soil analysis and field use history


If your site is selected, a soil scientist will visit your school to pick up the sample. They would also be happy to talk with your students about opportunities in biotechnology and soil science or conduct an in-class demonstration. All participants will be eligible for a $1,000 prize awarded for the best-described sample.


If you are interested, contact Tim Lilburn, Novozymes North America Senior Scientist at tlr@novozymes.com. Participants will receive a soil sampling kit and detailed instructions about collecting and submitting the samples.


This program is first-come first serve, and is limited to 10 sites for the 2017 school year.


(cross-posted in NAAE regional news)