Barriers to adopting Regenerative Agricultural Practices in the US
Washington Post article about locking carbon in agricultural soil
In September 2019 , the Organic Consumers Association reported that concerned farmers and activists are championing an alternative to the “normal” industrial agriculture which strips our soils of nutrients, releases carbon and has a continual need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. They are targeting their elected officials for a fair playing field for small farm regenerative operations which promote healthy soil and more nutrient dense food.
Last week, Organic Consumers Association (OCA), joined Regeneration International (an organization we helped co-found and continue to support) and the Sunrise Movement to officially launch the national coalition of U.S. Farmers & Ranchers for a Green New Deal.
Five members of Congress joined us in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., to call for a Green New Deal for farmers and ranchers.
Earlier in the day, we delivered a letter to every member of Congress, signed by more than 500 individual farms, and 50 organizations representing more than 10,000 farmers and ranchers, asking Congress to support the Green New Deal Resolution.
Representatives of the Women, Food & Agriculture Network, Indiana Farmers Union and American Sustainable Business Council joined in the press conference, which was covered by multiple media outlets, including Politico, The Hill, Civil Eats and FERN AgInsider.
Why is a consumer and environmental advocacy group like OCA so invested in this new coalition of farmers and ranchers—?
Because we’re facing a food crisis. A soil crisis. A water crisis. And a climate crisis. And there’s just no way we solve these interconnected issues without “linking arms” and working together.Read MoreStudy: Plant Diversity Leads to More Carbon Stored in the Soil
A new study confirms what most scientists already know, and what proponents of industrial agribusiness either don’t get, or won’t admit: Nature abhors a monoculture.
The study suggests that by restoring biodiversity, we can vastly enhance the soil’s potential to store carbon.
That’s good news for the climate. And there are co-benefits: healthier, more resilient soil and plants, not to mention wildlife habitats.
Scientists have long believed that soil aggregates—clusters of soil particles—were the principal locations for stable carbon storage. These clusters develop when tiny particles of soil clump together.
Mycorrhiza—the microscopic fungi which live in healthy soils—produce sticky compounds that help “glue” these clusters together helping to stabilize and protect the carbon particles inside them.
Now, a recent study out of the Michigan State University (MSU) Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, suggests that this soil clustering is most efficient when soil has a healthy “pore structure.” And the key to a healthy pore structure is plant biodiversity.Read MoreListen to the Farmers
Last month, a United Nations report prepared by more than 100 experts from 52 countries warned of a looming global food crisis if we don’t hurry up and address global warming by ending the exploitation of the world’s land and water resources.
The solution, according to the experts? Change the way we produce food and manage land.
But how do we do that? When the biggest exploiters of our resources—the agribusiness and chemical giants—have access to a bottomless pit of money they can use to influence the people who write our food and farming policies?
We do it by building a grassroots lobbying force too powerful to be ignored.
And we do it by putting the farmers and ranchers who are ready to produce food and manage land regeneratively in the driver’s seat.