The Legislature finds that:
(1) Healthy soils are a limited natural resource and fundamental for healthy and sustainable food production. Improving soil health means increasing soil's organic matter and diversifying its microbial activity to enhance agricultural productivity and environmental resilience. A commitment to healthy and productive soils and clean water is critical as world population and food production demands rise;
(2) Nebraska is a powerhouse agricultural state because of its productive soils and abundant water. However, through the years there has been a depletion of organic matter and trace minerals, making the soil less fertile than it was;
(3) There is a significant opportunity for Nebraska farmers and ranchers to capitalize on the economic and production benefits of improved soil health, while simultaneously improving surface and ground water quality;
(4) Improving the health of Nebraska's soil is the most effective way for agricultural producers to increase crop and forage productivity and profitability while also protecting the environment;
(5) Appropriate planning and coordination is needed to speed up and coordinate the adoption of conservation practices that rebuild and protect soil carbon to increase water holding capacity and enhance the vitality of the subsurface microbiome for landowners to capitalize on the economic and production benefits of soil health, while simultaneously enhancing water quality, capturing carbon, building resilience to drought and pests, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding pollinator and other wildlife habitat, and protecting fragile ecosystems for a more sustainable future; and
(6) A number of states have initiated formal soil health programs either through the establishment of new entities or collaborations between existing entities.