Bennett, Hugh Hammond (1881-1960)
Three words - visionary, evangelist, messiah - describe Hugh Bennett's personal and professional life. As a visionary, he viewed soil as a dynamic resource that changed from field to field, and a living resource that was influenced by a myriad of factors. He believed that land degradation and reduced fertility could only be corrected by many professionals - agronomists, chemists, biologists, foresters, and water specialists - working together with farmers. The key to this vision was Bennett's conviction that give-away programs would not work; farmers themselves had to be involved in finding permanent solutions to land abuse problems that they had inadvertently fostered by implementing bad management practices. From this vision grew the science of modern soil and water conservation, wherein local scientists and landowners unite to diagnose and prescribe treatment for ailing lands.
Bennett was a spirited evangelist and crusader against the evils of soil