Hugh Hammond Bennett, “the father of soil conservation,” joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Soils in 1903. While conducting a soil survey of Louisa County in 1905, he came to understand the link between soil erosion and soil quality. Inspired by this insight, Bennett campaigned nationally for soil conservation. Congress created a permanent Soil Conservation Service within the USDA in 1935; Bennett was its first chief. It was renamed the Natural Resources Conservation Service in 1994. Where others had failed, Bennett brought soil erosion into the public consciousness and made soil conservation a national priority.
Date Approved by DHR: 12/16/10
Original Sponsor: John A. Bricker, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
Geographic Location: Louisa County
Physical Description of Location: 214 Fredericksburg Avenue, Louisa, VA 23093-6531 (on grounds of Louisa County Historical Society)
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