William A. Albrecht
Illinois, United States
|Died||1974, aged 85|
Columbia, Missouri, United States
William Albert Albrecht (September 12, 1888 – May 19, 1974) chairman of the Department of Soils at the University of Missouri, was the foremost authority on the relation of soil fertility to human health and earned four degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. As emeritus professor of soils at the University of Missouri, he saw a direct link between soil quality, food quality and human health. He drew direct connections between poor quality forage crops, and ill health in livestock and from this developed a formula for ideal ratios of cations in the soil, the Base Cation Saturation Ratio. While he did not discover cation exchange in the soil as is sometimes supposed, he may have been the first to associate it with colloidal clay particles. He served as 1939 President of the Soil Science Society of America.
Twenty years before the phrase 'environmental concern' crept into the national consciousness, he was lecturing from coast to coast on the broad topic of agricultural ecology. (C. Edmund Marshall, In Memoriam, 'Plant and Soil' vol 48.)
" The soil is the ‘creative material’ of most of the basic needs of life. Creation starts with a handful of dust.” Dr. William A. Abrecht.