Shelby County Students Discover Soil Conservation

January 27, 2023

Shelby County Students Discover Soil Conservation

Fourth-grade students at Shelby County Catholic are getting a lesson in environmental science, specifically soil conservation, with help from local conservationist Christina Groen. As a member of the Iowa Association of Naturalists (IAN) and Shelby County Conservation Board, Groen helps educate the community about environmental topics that affect all Iowans.

“We live in an agriculture-based society. The farming practices we use must preserve our resources for future generations,” said Ann Anderson, Shelby County Catholic Principal. “Farming practices have changed, and our students must understand the impact of these changes on the environment that supports all life.”

This collaboration with Groen is a new initiative and the first time students at Shelby County have had the opportunity to learn about soil conservation. Soil conservation involves various techniques designed to protect the soil from degradation. As a living ecosystem, all the organisms that make the soil their home are essential in producing a fertile, healthy environment. Moreover, a healthy soil ecosystem is crucial to human life and food production. The lessons provided by Groen aligned with state education standards for history and gave students insight into best practices in soil conservation, including terraces, crop rotation, buffer strips, and windbreaks.

“Harlan, like many other rural communities, is an agricultural-based economy,” shared Anderson. “Soil conservation practices help ensure positive agricultural outcomes for our economy and our future.”

Groen will continue to provide environmental and cultural lessons to students at Shelby County Catholic throughout the 2022-2023 school year.

Shelby County Catholic School prepares students in grades PK-5 to become problem solvers and critical thinkers in a faith-filled learning environment that nurtures faith, community, prayer, academics, and service. For more information on Shelby County Catholic School and its commitment to community and agricultural health, visit or call 712-755-5634.