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Regenerative Organic Agriculture

Updated: Jul 19, 2023



Three grain bins stand in an golden open field with a small hill behind them
Grain bins on the Prairie have seen decades of environmental changes

NEW WAVE OF OLD THINKING

Since the introduction of reconstructed WWII chemicals into farming in the 1940’s, chemical dependent agriculture has been the dominant source of food production in the United States. It has undoubtedly left its mark in our nutrient deficient soil and has been caught red handed as an accomplice in the American health crisis. It’s taken many years but growers and consumers alike are waking up to the negative affects of chemical agriculture and there are people working hard to find solutions. There have been some great strides along the way. To optimize the nutrient value in Gruff grits, our farmers utilize intensional crop rotation, thoughtful farming methods, strategic grazing practices, and consistent soil sampling. These efforts work synergistically towards measurable improvements in soil fertility. The Regenerative Certification that Prairie Grass Ranch has acquired attests to the intention to understand the nature of microbial activity in the ground; because ancient grains, like all crops can only be as healthy as the soil they were planted in.


Regenerative Organic Agriculture is a sustainable method of growing that creates nutrient dense food and cultivates a culture of thriving for pollinators, wildlife, crops and consumers. It is a new wave of old thinking that will forever change our soil for the better.

Man in a blue shirt walks on a narrow path through an overgrown field
Consumers drive the demand for food production. Informed consumers make environmentally responsible decisions that have positive long term effects on agriculture.

GROWERS SPEAK UP

As early as the 1960’s voices of concern for the coexisting issues of the deteriorating condition of the soil and unknown immune responses negatively affecting American people began to speak out. We began to wonder if there was a link between how we are growing our food and the effects on the body. Around the beginning of the 1990’s farming began to change as the renegade agronomic forecaster’s message was heard and heeded by a growing number of farmers with enough grit to break away from generations of chemical dependent monoculture farming. Those who chose to step out and break the norm found …it worked, it was profitable and the land was becoming free of toxic inputs. A huge win for both people and the environment, creating an opportunity to walk softer on this earth and provide people with food free of poison. Proof begat trust and momentum in the organic movement was in full swing. Not every system is foolproof and as years of soil began to heal, the land critics began to voice valid points of weakness in even this better way of production.


Milkweed flower in full bloom with a ball of pink blossoms
Holistic solutions for agriculture may include adding pollinator strips containing diverse native plants creating micro habitats to conserve and increase pollinator population.

SUPPORTING SOIL

Although the elimination of synthetic inputs is a commendable win for soil and heath, more attention is needed towards increasing the vital microbial activity to make it a truly sustainable system. Here enters the philosophy of Regenerative Organic Agriculture (ROA). ROA addresses the concerns for both elimination of the negative inputs and recruits holistic solutions to improve the soil microbiome and the systems that support it.




WHERE DOES ROA FIT?

ROA builds and maintains biodiversity through topsoil preservation, sequesters carbon in rotational cropping and intercropping, enhances ecosystems by providing habitat for native pollinators and wildlife, and maximizes the efficiency of water by building soil structure to better utilize and budget water inputs. This is no easy road to a get rich quick scheme, it is farming like the world depends on it. Growers who commit to implementing ROA principles are looking for the long term improvements of soil health. The overall goal is maximum soil fertility that will be growing the food for our children and grandchildren. This is land stewardship at its finest.

Tractor and scenery are blacked out by a stunning blue and pink sunset
Daylight can last until after 10pm in the height of summer in northern climates. These long days are perfect for the 80+ hours a week that farmers work to harvest.

NEW HORIZONS

We are entering a great moment in time where the bottom line is not only being defined by deducting expenses from revenue, but also factoring the social and environmental impacts that have long been overlooked as valuable metrics for a successful and sustainable business. Regenerative Organic growing practices are the long awaited answers to what sustainable success looks like in the field.

 


The overall goal is maximum soil fertility that will be growing the food for our children and grandchildren. This is land stewardship at its finest.




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