Helping with conservation and improving communities with a different type of farming
The EPA says that about 10 percent of greenhouse gases come from ag production. The Regenerative Agriculture Movement hopes to lower that number with a different style of farming.
Improving soil biodiversity, increasing carbon sequestration, and limiting erosion and degradation of the land are just a few of the goals of the Regenerative Agriculture Movement.
“At Rodale Institute, really from the beginning, we’ve thought agriculture could be a solution to a lot of these issues, actually improve, and that’s really where that word regeneration comes from, right. We are actually improving the soil, we are improving the ecosystem, improving our communities,” according to the institute’s chief scientist, Dr. Andrew Smith.
Maine Democrat, Chellie Pingree is an organic farmer and is working to support the Regenerative Ag Movement with legislation.
Rep. Pingree states, “I’ve worked on a bill in the last couple of years called the Agriculture Resilience Act, and it’s one way to focus our attention on some of the things we know are critical: research, soil health, farmland preservation, farmland viability, pasture based livestock, renewable energy on farms and food waste.”
She says that Congress needs to continue partnering with the USDA to expand agencies and programs that can help producers improve conservation on the farm.
“The NRCS, which was created after the Dust. Bowl, is one of the most important ways we can direct our resources and technical assistance, so that farmers who want to transition or do more of this have that ability to do more of it,” she notes.
Pingree has been working on sustainability in agriculture since the 1970s, and says that more people are starting to pay attention to the role of farming in climate change.
“I think we are actually hitting a moment in time where there in a convergence of consumers, and activist, and farmers, and researches and, frankly, this big picture of climate change coming together where we will be talking even more about how do we make some significant changes here,” she adds.
The Rodale Institute recently released a white paper outlining how regenerative agriculture can reduce carbon emissions, and how policy makers can craft legislation to help farmers transition.