Anthony Bly receives Friend of Soil Health Award

South Dakota State University Extension
Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist, received the 2022 Friend of Soil Heath Award at the 2022 Soil Health Conference.

Anthony Bly, South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension soils field specialist, received the 2022 Friend of Soil Heath Award at the 2022 Soil Health Conference.

“This award is a great honor for me,” Bly said. “I am trying to carry on the legacies of my mentors in my life through science and the conservation of natural resources.”

Bly received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agronomy from SDSU in 1988 and 1992, respectively.

After obtaining his master’s degree, Bly began his career with SDSU in 1992 as a research associate and later went on to work for AgLab Express as a laboratory manager from 2011-2013. In 2013, Bly re-joined SDSU Extension as a soils field specialist.

In his current role, Bly develops, organizes and conducts educational programing for producers and agronomists in South Dakota, including the Managing Soil and Maximizing Profit meeting. He also attends and speaks at various SDSU industry partner events and meetings for the South Dakota No-Till Association, AgHorizons, South Dakota Soybean and the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition.

“Anthony can connect with producers, because he is one, too,” said Sandy Smart, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Senior Program Leader.

In addition to speaking at meetings and events, Bly writes educational soil health articles that are published on the SDSU Extension website. Bly is also involved in several soil research projects related to soil fertility and soil health, many of which are collaborative projects with other SDSU Extension specialists.

Bly has played an integral role in developing the Every Acre Counts program, which aims to improve farm profitability, diversity and ecosystem benefits of agriculture by using precision technologies to empower producers to make informed management decisions for every acre of their operation. Through this program, SDSU Extension provides landowners with information that will increase their return on investment and enhance land management approaches that will benefit the sustainability of land, water and all natural resources.

“Anthony understands the value of soil health and how it improves the land resource, reduces input costs and protects the soil from wind and water erosion,” Smart said. “He has a passion for soil health, because he practices it on his own operation, and he is driven to see others implement those practices on their farms as well.”