Hearing on Regenerative Agriculture: Soil health is imperative to American health

The House Ag Committee recently held a hearing on regenerative agriculture and soil health. Members express why it’s important.

The House Ag Committee took up the topic of regenerative agriculture and soil health.

Representative David Scott of Georgia explains why they wanted to have the hearing.

“Ladies and gentlemen today, our farmers our ranchers, our foresters are able to use USDA’s technical and financial assistance to support a variety of ways to increase soil health. The soil, the Earth is the start of our food supply chain and that is why we wanted to have this hearing,” said Rep. Scott.

Rodale Institute CEO, Jeff Meyer says our nation’s food system is broken and needs to be fixed now.

“All farms can benefit from regenerative organic practices, but we need to adopt changes now because America’s food system is broken. It’s too reliant on unstable foreign supply chains, chemical pesticides, and government subsidies for foods that aren’t healthy for our constituents or profitable for America’s farming families. Our current agricultural systems are also degrading America’s soils. Regenerative organic agriculture showcases production strategies that conventional farmers can take advantage of, like the use of roller crimpers along with cover crops to reduce or eliminate tillage, and the need for nitrogen fertilizer. But in order for these practices to be employed at a scale, we need to tweak EQIP and crop insurance regulations to incentivize the outcomes we want, not disincentivize them,” said Meyer.

Steve Nygren, Founder, and CEO of Serenbe says rural America has felt the effects of economic instability and explains why soil health is important.

“The recognition that we need healthy soil should compel us to recognize our American agrarian economy, and what drives it, starting with how we inhabit the landscape. We must produce food locally, implement policies and programs that support this local production, and prioritize regenerative organic farming. Rural America has been stripped of its identity and economic stability. We’re now feeling some of the negative results of this drastic shift and consolidation. Soil health is imperative to American health. Through the Farm Bill and the direct actions of this committee, you can affect real change for our farmers, our food systems, our economy, and our communities. I urge you to find fund organizations that will directly impact small and historically marginalized farmers working to produce regenerative organic foods. You need programs in place to support and promote the growing market for locally produced food grown in chemical-free soil. Small farms and regenerative organic farmers need an equal opportunity,” said Nygren.

In the hearing, Chairman Scott said supporting soil health is nothing new for the U.S., referencing how the Dust Bowl led to the creation of the Soil Conservation Service.


Producers urge Congress to make more fair policy towards regenerative agriculture

For the Alexander family, it’s all about soil health and regenerative ag