hand holding soil

Soil Health

From glaciers to grasslands, healthy soils underlie sustainable water systems, food systems, and ecosystems and are critical for climate resilience, as well as environmental and public health.

Healthy soils sequester more carbon and hold more water, affecting everything from water supply, wildfire mitigation, to climate mitigation. Further, these ecosystems are interdependent. True sustainability therefore requires an integrated approach. 


The Colorado Integrated Rocky Mountain-region Innovation Center for Healthy Soils team includes Jim Ippolito, Megan Machmuller, Steve Blecker, Max Neumeyer and Helen Silver. 

Partners at CSU include Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, CSU AES, Agricultural Business Management team, Center for Science Communications, Department of Sociology, and CSU Extension. 


Spearheading Collaboration

Spearheaded the Colorado Collaborative for Healthy Soils – stakeholder process involved more than 250 stakeholders and resulted in passage of the State of Colorado HB21-1181 and SB21-235.

Designed, Developed, and Launched


The STAR Plus program at Colorado Department of Agriculture, providing financial and technical assistance to producers piloting new practices in their operation.

$12+M in Funding

Secured more than $5.5M in funding for soil health, enabling our team to work with 150 producers statewide to understand and provide producers new tools for creating resilient, sustainable agroecosystems that help resist climate change.

Recently awarded $6.86M from USDA Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program to expand the STAR program across Colorado and the West, helping build climate-smart markets and expanding technical and financial assistance to a diverse range of producers.

New CSU Spur Center

Creation of new IN-RICHES center at the CSU Spur campus, enabling expansion to land-grant institutions across five other states along the Rocky Mountain backbone; NM, UT, WY, MT, ID, focusing on soil health from glaciers to grasslands that are particular to the Rocky Mountain region.