Regenerative agriculture is an emerging trend in the agriculture industry. It is a method of farming that prohibits the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers, increases biodiversity, and enhances the ecosystem. The practice is embraced by farmers and food growers who encourage and utilize organic farming methods. The Rodale Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting organic farming practices, estimates that about 108 million acres of farmland globally utilize regenerative farming practices and that the number will drastically increase over the next 30 years.
Regenerative agriculture is a farming practice that improves and regenerates soil health. Regenerative agriculture can be referred to as carbon farming because it removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converts the carbon dioxide into plant material and organic matter that becomes a part of the soil. Carbon farming does not hurt the soil and utilizes organic practices, unlike conventional farming methods, which can destroy soil and harm the environment.
By keeping the soil rich and healthy, regenerative agriculture can create healthy food for consumers to eat. Not only will regenerative agriculture produce fresh and healthy food, it helps the soil survive periods of drought and flooding. A growing number of farmers are finding carbon farming or regenerative practices useful to their agricultural operations.
Since regenerative agriculture rebuilds soil’s organic material and restores soil biodiversity, some scientists believe the practice may have a positive effect on climate change and become a viable solution to the global warming concerns. Other benefits of regenerative agriculture may include:
- Promoting and enhancing biodiversity
- Improving food nutrition
- Stimulating local farming businesses
- Reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions
- Providing more food for consumers
Many farmers and now lawmakers are acknowledging the advantages of regenerative agriculture. Some lawmakers are proposing more benefits to farmers who implement regenerative agriculture principles in their farming practices.
Advocates for regenerative agriculture have participated in hearings with the US House of Representatives. Lawmakers are listening to their suggestions that establish certification involving regenerative agriculture, such as the Regenerative Organic Certification, which is a collaborative effort involving farmers, scientist, ranchers, nonprofits, and companies that desire a new and higher standard for regenerative organic agriculture.
The certification will go beyond just farming practices, but also include worker standards and animal welfare. Regenerative agriculture is a movement that is gaining momentum, and consumers can get involved in the movement, too. Everyday citizens can get involved by:
- Speaking with your local growers about regenerative agriculture
- Educating your neighbors about the regenerative agriculture movement
- Encouraging your local farmers to implement regenerative farming practices
- Engaging your community leaders and politicians about the value of regenerative agriculture
- Supporting your local farmers market and other local food producers
There are many proactive things people can do to support regenerative agriculture and improve the food they consume. It is a collective effort to address how everyone can enjoy nutritious foods using safe and healthy regenerative agriculture practices that protect our health and environment, too.