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Associated Press, Published April 24 2012

Minnesota lawmakers do the dirty work, name Lester as state soil

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota lawmakers have dug through the options and voted to name Lester the official state soil.

The House and Senate approved the choice as part of an agriculture policy bill on Tuesday. It now awaits action by Gov. Mark Dayton.

University of Minnesota soil science professor Terry Cooper says Lester was formed 10,000 years ago and is effective for growing plants. He says the loamy soil is named for Lester Prairie west of the metro area. It covers more than 600,000 acres in 17 Minnesota counties.

Lester would join 16 other state symbols, including the state flower, the pink and white lady slipper; and the state tree, the red or Norway pine, as well as the state drink and muffin, milk and blueberry.

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