There are many words that individuals, companies, farmers and ranchers use to help inform you, the consumer, on what makes them different. Inevitably, those words (natural, organic, sustainable, free range, etc) are hijacked by master marketers who put their spin on them and attach them to products that simply do not measure up. For instance, in South Dakota we have one of the sexiest corn commercials. Woven in is “regenerative agriculture”. It is a lie. There is nothing regenerative about massive acres of a mono-cultural crop.
With that said, we get the, “What the heck is regenerative agriculture?” often.A little Google search provided the following definition:
Regenerative Agriculture is a system of farming and grazing practices that among other benefits, increases biodiversity, enhances ecosystems, enriches soils organic matter and rebuilds degraded soil biodiversity, improves watersheds, and captures the draw down of carbon in the soil. These practices reverse current global warming trends of atmospheric accumulation.
And, from our in-house expert Dan O’Brien:
“Regenerative Agriculture is all about healthy soil. Industrial farming has turned much of the world’s soil into lifeless dirt. In the last decades, our soil has degenerated - from the fertile, moist, foundation of healthy food, to an exhausted, inert, chemical soaked medium where plants struggle to grow. By returning grain-free buffalo to the large landscape of the Great Plains we are taking advantage of the co-evolution of grass and buffalo to regenerate the health of our soil and to keep carbon stored safely underground.”
Perhaps the best way to learn about regenerative agriculture is to hear directly from those that practice it. If you haven’t yet watched the short film “UNBROKEN GROUND” we highly recommend it. The O’Brien/Jones families are featured in the film (which was our favorite part... we’re a little biased) and will help shed a little more light on regenerative agriculture.