Applied Biological Wisdom: Regenerative Agricultural Solutions

Soil Technologies Corporation

3. Good Health and Well-Being 6. Clean Water and Sanitation 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 15. Life on Land

Overview

Soil Tech exemplifies business as an agent of world benefit. By using the intelligence of micro-organisms, it provides sustainable eco-agricultural alternatives to chemical inputs.

Author

Lani Aulicino

Lani Aulicino

School

Maharishi University of Management

Maharishi University of Management

Professor

Dennis Heaton

Dennis Heaton

Innovation

Soil Tech's innovations are living, microbiological soil applications, which increase biodiversity in soils, leading to healthier ecosystems while lessening or eliminating the need to use degrading chemical compositions to treat turf and other land. Golf courses are one of the principle clients of Soil Tech. However, they also sell to large-field agriculture, open field and greenhouse horticulture, landscaping, and online direct-to-consumer. According to one YouTube review of Soil Tech’s TurfTech Bio-min product, one golf course over a 15-year period phased out the use of soil-degrading chemical compositions to treat the turf because they “realized they didn’t need it anymore.” They haven’t treated their course for brown patches since implementing Soil Tech solutions. The fact that the root systems and soils became so resilient that they see absolutely no damage, even over harsh winters and summers, is a testament to the effectiveness of these biological innovations. Use of products like these is helping to reverse land degradation and prevents water pollution from run-off in a remarkably short period of time. According to Soil Tech founder Jim Schaefer, "The company has invested in its own research & development to prepare soil technologies for world-wide distribution." It also continues to create its own unique blends to adapt to client needs.

Applied Biological Wisdom: Regenerative Agricultural Solutions

Inspiration

Soil Technologies has its roots in the small, innovative city of Fairfield, Iowa. Its Founder and President, Dr. Jim Schaefer, founded the company in order to create local jobs that people could feel good working for. Raised on a farm in Illinois and holding a PhD in Agronomy, Schaefer was also looking for a way to get sustainable biological products into the world agronomic market. He found the perfect opportunity to achieve both dreams when he discovered a bio-fertilizer in the State of Washington that could treat one hectare (approximately 2.5 acres) of land with only 100 grams of product. He adopted this technology and started manufacturing it for distribution with the founding of Soil Tech in 1982.

Overall impact

Soil Technologies Corporation makes things go away that we don't want by replacing them with things we do. This applies to a diversity of agriculture: it is used for turf management, lagoons, ponds, and lakes. They provide convenient alternatives to harmful conventional methods by solving pest, fungus, and bacterial issues on a holistic, biological level. This prevents water pollution issues and adds to soil biodiversity. In its hometown, Soil Tech provides stable, full-time jobs to employees who can feel good about the work they do each day.

Business benefit

Though it is still based in its founding city of Fairfield, Iowa, Soil Tech's products are used across the U.S. and are exported to over 25 countries. The company is seeing an increase in sales and is currently undergoing operational and management changes to adapt. Given the success of its solutions and its ability to meet quickly-growing demand for natural and organic agricultural products, Soil Tech is on the road to great future expansion.

Social and environmental benefit

Soil Tech customers are seeing short-term and long-term environmental benefits. People are restarting lawns without conventional weed-killers. Soil Tech's Pond-Kleen product is helping restore lakes and ponds to better health and clarity. Crops are being grown with plant-based fertilizers (which produce stronger, healthier crops without the need for harmful synthetic treatments). Composting is becoming a faster process. Conventional insecticides are being replaced with effective, sustainable alternatives derived from garlic & neem. Fungal invasions of garden crops are being treated effectively without compromising health.

Outside the company’s direct contribution to preventing land-degradation, President Schaefer also believes strongly in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). Soil Tech was the principle donor to the current construction of a Regenerative Organic Agricultural Center building, as support to the 10-month Regenerative Organic Agriculture Certification program at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. As part of the program, students are receiving an education and hands-on farming experience to gain the knowledge and skills necessary in the field. The world needs a shift toward sustainable food-production, and this is certainly a step in the right direction.

Interview

Dr. Jim Schaefer, Founder & President

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Soil Technologies Corporation

Soil Technologies Corporation

Fairfield, IA, United States

Business Website: https://www.soiltechcorp.com

Year Founded: 1982

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Soil Technologies Corporation provides innovative microbiological solutions for agriculture and turf, preventing soil degradation and water pollution.