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Why Regenerative Agriculture Matters

Blog

Ramblings from a modern regenerative agriculturist 

Why Regenerative Agriculture Matters

Annemarie Sullivan


Regenerative Agriculture.

What is it?  What does it mean?  Why should I care?

Regenerative Agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that increases biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds, and enhances ecosystem services. Regenerative Agriculture aims to capture carbon in soil and aboveground biomass, reversing current global trends of atmospheric accumulation. At the same time, it offers increased yields, resilience to climate instability, and higher health and vitality for farming and ranching communities. The system draws from decades of scientific and applied research by the global communities of organic farming, agroecology, Holistic Management, and agroforestry.

— http://www.regenerativeagriculturedefinition.com/

So basically, regenerative agriculture has health as it's core motivation.  Healthy animals, healthy plants, healthy environments, healthy air, waters, and soils... healthy people.  

Who would disagree with the importance of all that?

You might be thinking that all agriculture is regenerative.  I mean, why would it be done any other way, right?  Wrong.  Modern agriculture is focused on two things:  maximum production and minimal expenses.  I'm not denying that it's a great business model.  Feeding the world for really cheap sounds good.  

But there's a problem.  A big one.

Modern agriculture isn't sustainable.  When I say sustainable, I don't mean a cute little buzz word that eco-minded people and companies use on labels all the time.  I mean it literally.  The  modern-day, mono-cultured, chemically-fed, food system that we are relying on today, is not going to last.  Yes, we're producing more "food" than ever before.  Yet as a society, we're sick, we're overweight, and we're eating, but our bodies are nutritionally starving.  This all originates with how we farm, how we grow food.  When the focus is on production/money and not health, that's not going to be a sustainable food system.  The purpose of food is to nourish, to make us healthy and strong.  Trade that for profits, and the system slowly begins to fail.  On a large scale, we suffer threats from antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the evolution of pesticide-resistant bugs, polluted waterways from factory farm's manure run-off, soil erosion, and nutrient-deprived food.. just to name a few.

The solution?  It isn't something crazy.  it isn't something impossible.  

The solution is to start farming regeneratively and sustainably.  

This won't be a single solution, or a fast and easy switch.  Farming regeneratively on a large scale will have to be a modern invention.  A combination of old wisdom, new technology, and a renewed respect for nature. 

You may not be a farmer, but if you are someone who eats, know that your food choices are imperative to this shift in how we grow food.


-Annemarie Sullivan

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