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Local Rally for Science rescheduled for Saturday, April 21

A local Rally for Science has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 21, at 10 a.m. in East Side Park in Morris.

March for Science of which rallies are a part, is a national campaign geared toward making sure fact-based reasoning is used in governmental policy. The local rally has that goal and a more specific one.

The rally will support the North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory in Morris. The Soils Lab is slated to be cut in President Donald Trump's proposed budget. It is one of at least 20 other ARS locations proposed for closure in fiscal year 2019.

Sylke Boyd said the Soils Lab is an important part of critical agriculture research. The Soils Lab conducts research on soil conservation, cover crops and related topics.

The Soils Lab is also important to the community because it "does generate income," Boyd said.

The Soils Lab employs about 18 to 23 people.

Boyd said the Soils Lab is also an important research partner with the West Central Research and Outreach Center and the University of Minnesota, Morris.

UMM students are able to do internships at the Soils Labs which would be otherwise unavailable to them in this area, Boyd said.

The partnership between the three entities makes the area a hub of agricultural research, Boyd said.

Attendees at the April 14 rally will be encouraged to sign a letter of support for the Soils Lab which asks that the lab be removed from the proposed cuts list and not be included as a cut in any future budget, Boyd said.

Several local organizations have already endorsed support for the Soils Lab including UMM, the Center for Small Towns, CURE, the Stevens County Soil and Water Conservation District and several student clubs at UMM, Boyd said.