Part 2 with Dr. Fred Provenza: Plant Diversity and Health
In this second webinar in a three-part series, guest presenter Dr. Fred Provenza will discuss how plant health and diversity impacts animal health and ultimately human health. 

Background: Plants turn dirt into soil and diverse mixtures of plants turn soil into homes, grocery stores, and pharmacies for diverse arrays of herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores below and above ground. Human health is linked with the diets of livestock through the chemical features of the plants that livestock eat. That includes not only energy, protein, minerals, and vitamins that plants contain, but the tens of thousands of other compounds that plants produce, collectively termed phytochemicals. This rich pool of compounds is increasingly recognized as responsible - as a complex whole - when trying to understand how plants promote health in herbivores or omnivorous humans who eat plants and meat. Through their many properties - that include anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-parasitic, and immunomodulatory effects - phytochemicals bolster health of soils and plants and protect livestock and humans against diseases. Understanding these interrelationships can help farmers and ranchers enhance profitability by diminishing costly fossil-fuel linkages among soil, plant diversity, livestock, and humans.

Dr. Provenza is professor emeritus of Behavioral Ecology in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University. For over 40 years he has pioneered research and understanding of the ways foraging behavior links soils and plants with herbivores and humans. 
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