How regenerative farming can serve as a tool for global sustainable development
Author John Mccrone recently wrote an article concerning New Zealand’s prospects for regenerative farming in Stuff, a New Zealand news and media site. In it, he situates regenerative farming within the framework of New Zealand’s farming future. Mccrone highlights global challenges and trends: COVID-19, the climate crisis, supply chain shifts in the production of artificial meat, to name a few. He outlines how regenerative farming can and has served as a response to these world obstacles.
In terms of public health, for example, regenerative farming offers more whole and nutrient rich foods when compared to industrially farmed alternatives.
“Industrial farming becomes a false economy when stacked up against the world’s soaring bill for chronic diseases – diabetes, cancer, heart attacks, immune disorders. And governments are now coming to realise that. Time to switch back to food with a proper nutritional density.”
Regenerative farming also helps to mitigate the climate crisis.
As outlined by Mccrone, “biologically-active soil is a huge carbon sink.”
Do we like preaching to the choir? Sure do! Enter, this week’s installment from Kiss the Ground on using cover cropping for carbon sequestration. Now, can I get an Amen?!
This video features Jeff Borum, Soil Health Coordinator East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District , who mentions that some of the oldest records of cover cropping come from Virgil. Our interest piqued, we did a little digging to confirm this fact and unearthed some trivia about the history of cover cropping from this UC Davis article, but we know there’s more out there. Can anyone point us in the right direction??
Regenerative Enterprise, or the idea that business doesn’t have to suck so much. Wait! Don’t go: before you think I’m about to preach to the choir on creating businesses that go beyond the extractive model, or throw some vague “Be sustainable!” nonsense at you, don’t worry.
Enter, the Regenerative Business Institute, a nonprofit with its roots in permaculture and agriculture. The organization provides an incredible wealth of resources on “regenerative enterprise.” A lot of this, are things that small farmers have and have been doing for years: valuing social connections, social health, and the health of land as much (if not much more than) monitory profit. But, what the institute has to offer that is new are economic ways of thinking that allow us to clearly articulate our goals and create smarter systems.
Those of us lucky enough to be at the NOFA Mass Winter Conference this year were privileged to see Elizabeth and Paul Kaiser of Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol, CA give this Keynote speech. You’ve never seen no-till farming look this easy or this sensical. Skip to minute 27 to see my favorite part: 45 minutes of bed changeover condensed in a 45 second time lapse video.
Apprenticeships in Regenerative Ranching and Farming
Offered through The Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Program on partner ranches and farms in New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, and California
The Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Program (NAP) partners with skilled ranchers and farmers to offer annual apprenticeships in regenerative agriculture. Together, we create opportunities for comprehensive, full-immersion experiential learning from expert practitioners in professional settings. This program is designed to support the next generation of food producers and specifically targets first-career professionals with a sincere commitment to life at the intersection of conservation and regenerative agriculture. NAP mentors are dedicated stewards of the land; they practice intentional, regenerative methods of food or fiber production, provide excellent animal care, and are skilled and enthusiastic teachers.
In 2017, we are offering seven paid apprenticeship opportunities including:
San Juan Ranch (Saguache, CO): San Juan Ranch is a certified organic, grass-fed beef ranch operated by George Whitten and Julie Sullivan. The apprenticeship curriculum includes Holistic Management, low-stress animal husbandry, (more…)
“The regeneration of soil is the task of our generation.”
The video is great, but their petition is even better. Learn more about the Story of Soil on the group’s website. which is a project dedicated to convincing the California legislature to allocate $160 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to help rebuild healthy soils.
Excerpted from Ronnie Collins’s essay Regeneration: Global Transformation in Catastrophic Times:
We must begin to connect the dots between fossil fuels, global warming and related issues, including world hunger, poverty, unemployment, toxic food and farming, extractivism, land grabbing, biodiversity, ocean destruction, deforestation, resource wars, and deteriorating public health. As we regenerate the soil and forests, and make organic and grass-fed food and fiber the norm, rather than just the alternative, we will simultaneously develop our collective capacity to address all of the globe’s interrelated problems.
The extraordinary thing about de-industrializing food and farming, restoring grasslands and reversing deforestation—moving several hundred billion tons of carbon back from the atmosphere into our soils, plants and forests—is that this regeneration process will not only reverse global warming and re-stabilize the climate, but will also stimulate hundreds of millions of rural (and urban) jobs, while qualitatively increasing soil fertility, water retention, farm yields and food quality.