SAINT PETER, MN- Researchers, farmers, gardeners and community members gathered at Gustavus Adolphus College for the annual Linnaeus Symposium.

The focus point this year, soil stewardship, as a host of speakers described what Minnesota soil contains and how we can better manage it.

The earth's resource has allowed crops and habitats to flourish all over the world, but people haven't always helped sustain its utility.

Associate professor of Geology Laura Triplett says "Humans have a long history of over using soil and then suffering the consequences. You can go back to 400 BC with Plato writing about soil degradation and erosion in Ancient Greece."

With glaciers having only melted away 10,000 years ago, our state's soil is relatively young, geologically speaking.

According to Triplett, Minnesota dirt still contains a number of nutrients that have yet to be leached away which has allowed a strong rural economy to form.

Many area farmers have already begun to protect soil in a variety of ways.

Triplett adds "Things like cover crops, things like less tillage. We've already done a really great job with some soil conservation techniques like plowing along the contour."

Triplett says utilizing current methods along with implementing new ones will not only continue to allow for fresh crops to grow, but reduce climate change and preserve habitats in Minnesota and abroad.

Another soil conference will take place on October 2nd and 3rd on the campus of Gustavus for the 54th Nobel Conference.

You can find more information about the event here.