Who: Pierre- Edouard Schadeck
Programme: International Horticulture & Management
My name is Pierre-Edouard. I grew up in a farm at the east of Paris. Sugar beets, wheat, alfalfa, rapeseed are the main crops, but there are also some vineyards. I am studying International Horticulture & Management at Aeres UAS and at the same time I also do a five years farming degree in Rouen, France. I am interested about soil health since I am in College. Soil is one of the most important resources on earth and it is not renewable. Serious losses occur each year due to wind and water erosion. Soil biology is too often badly damaged due to heavy soil disturbance and high uses of chemicals, so I wanted to study soil health in my internship.
Internship at Natural Resources Conservation Centre
I was interested to go to the United States because soil conservation is a big issue there. I am working in Colorado with the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service), a governmental company in charge of helping farmers and ranchers in their management practices. The internship takes four months and I learn about the soil management in a dry area, how to cultivate it in sustainable way. Since Colorado is a semi-arid area, water is a resource which is quite difficult to manage. Irrigation is a big issue and is related to soil health. Without water, the biomass production is weak, the soil coverage is weak also. When droughts occur, the damage caused by wind erosion high. The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture in south east Colorado in the 1930s’. Since this time, soil health is a huge issue in this area.
I am in charge of interviewing farmers to learn about their problems in soil management, and how they deal with them. I interview research farms and soil health professionals. At the same time, I do literature research to understand what is known about soil health. I will do a thesis research on the soil problems, how people manage soil problems and what they could do differently.
Next year, I have one more year of study and I will major in agribusiness. I would like to do my internship in Europe, in a company that deals with crop and soil management in interaction with farmers. After my studies, I want to be involved in the farm of my family and to work with agronomists in crop production. I need to find out in which way to do it.