A Profile in Community Care

Author: Chris Daley & Dawn Reynolds
April 28, 2016

We belong to a congregation that has many difference makers. Our focus has been on educational matters, and so with much pride and passion we share the profile of one of our difference makers who is focused on education.

Agronomist Dr. Eton Codling, from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Crop Systems and Global Change Lab had an important mission to accomplish outside of his professional responsibilities.

He represented USDA at the White House Day at the Lab to give young students a taste of exciting science careers they may never have considered or even known about otherwise.

The White House Day at the Lab was held in coordination with My Brother’s Keeper—a program President Barack Obama launched two years ago to address persistent disadvantages and to ensure boys and young men of color have opportunities to reach their full potential—and with the White House Council on Women and Girls. It kicked off a week of similar events for students at Federal labs across the country

About 70 eager sixth, seventh and eighth graders from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore schools had the opportunity to spend the day doing experiments, being inspired by hands-on activities and the chance to ask questions of real working scientists from Federal agencies.

Dr. Codling decided to bring the dirt! At Dr. Codling’s soil table, the students were fascinated by changes in the color of pH strips, which tell how acid a liquid is, as they dipped the strips in water after they had been run through different types of soil. The students said they knew food was grown in soil, but they had never been taught how soil affects so many things—such as the fact that the air we breathe is changed by the plants that grow in the soil, and by the animals we eat that feed on the plants that grow in the soil. Everything is interconnected through the soil, and we need to stop treating it like dirt.

The author John Maxwell asked an important question in a recent book. “Why do two people with the exact same background, experience, skills and abilities, given the same situation in life, one fails and the other is successful?”

It is the servant attitude like that is practiced by Dr. Codling that epitomizes difference makers. We pray that this spirit become a virus among us


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