Regenerative Farmer Everyman Adam Chappell. Okay, But What Is Regenerative Agriculture? Discovering a Farmer’s Footprint, and the MarineBio Conservation Society.
Regenerative Farmer Everyman Adam Chappell, What Is Regenerative Agriculture? Discover Farmer’s Footprint, MarineBio Conservation Society
MEET ADAM CHAPPELL THE REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE EVERYMAN
Adam Chappell is a founding member of the Arkansas Soil Health Alliance teaching farmers how to be profitable & sustainable through soil health. But he didn’t used to be anybody special. In fact, aside from degrees in botany and entomology, he was like every other fourth-generation Midwestern farmer.
Chappell’s 8,000 acre “family plot” sits in Cotton Plant, Arkansas. And in 2009, the family farm was rapidly going broke, financially, physically and psychologically.
One desperate night in 2009, Adam took to YouTube to find another way of doing things. He got deep into the weeds before stopping at a video of a Pennsylvania pumpkin grower who had planted no-till into 6′ cereal rye to manage pigweed. By the end of the video Adam was searching local places to buy cereal rye and no one even knew what it was. He finally found some in Oklahoma and once he had it, he planted 300 acres of cereal rye.
The next spring, the same pigweed he had been at war with, was more controlled than he had ever seen using the chemicals consultants swore were the only solution.
In 2011, he planted 1,300 acres and then 2,300 the next year. His input costs were dropped dramatically and profits began to rise for the first time in decades. Since then, all 8,000 acres are a 100% regenerative farm. 12 years into his regenerative experiment, the switch has rejuvenated his farm and saved it from financial ruin.
“I wish I could say the reason we changed our ways was because of the environment, but it was because these practices allowed to save our family farm.”
And that’s why Adam Chappell’s story matters to us. Combating Climate Change has to include individual human productivity and proclivity. Not everybody is going to pivot because it’s good for the environment. But if we find ways for good people to stay productive, employed and mentally alert by saving the environment, then more people of all stripes will join in the fight.
OKAY, BUT WHAT IS REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE?
Regenerative Agriculture is a holistic land management practice that leverages the power of photosynthesis in plants to close the carbon cycle, and build soil health, crop resilience and nutrient density. Regenerative agriculture improves soil health, primarily through the practices that increase soil organic matter.
Regenerative Agricultural Practices are: Practices that (i) contribute to generating/building soils and soil fertility and health; (ii) increase water percolation, water retention, and clean and safe water runoff; (iii) increase biodiversity and ecosystem health and resiliency; and (iv) invert the carbon emissions of our current agriculture to one of remarkably significant carbon sequestration thereby cleansing the atmosphere of legacy levels of CO2.
Growers tend to refer to a set of practices that unify the approach:
1.) No-till/minimum tillage. Tillage pulverizes breaks up soil aggregation and fungal communities while adding excess O2 to the soil for increased respiration and CO2 emission.
2.)Application of cover crops, and crop rotations to promote liberation, transfer, and cycling of essential soil nutrients. Also planting border vegetation for bee habitat and other beneficial insects.
3.)Well-managed grazing practices stimulate improved plant growth, overall pasture and grazing land productivity while greatly increasing soil fertility, insect and plant biodiversity, and soil carbon sequestration.
Why does regenerative farming matter to us, simple consumers of food?
These practices not only improve ecological health, but also the health of the animal and human consumer through improved micro-nutrients availability and better dietary omega balances. In other words, if we are what we ate ate, then if our food eats healthy food, we eat healthy food, too. And as the old Maori saying goes, you can’t make a healthy planet if you don’t have a healthy body.
In researching both Adam’s story and what regenerative agriculture is, The Climate Daily came across a neat website and resource center called, Farmer’s Footprint.
According to it’s Company Details, Farmer’s Footprint is on a mission is to accelerate universal adoption of regenerative agriculture to cultivate soil, human, and planetary health. It was co-founded by Dr. Zach Bush and David Leon.
Zach is a medical doctor who points out that pharmaceutical companies have merged in recent decades with chemical herbicides and pesticides manufacturers. And in the same way these manufacturers diseased the soil, which in turn created diseases of livestock, they treat the diseased livestock with antibiotics, nutrient supplements, brain stimulant drugs, etc. And now they treat diseased humans the same way.
He says, “Food is no longer our medicine, pharmaceutical chemicals and drugs are now the main ingredient in our foods.”
And that’s why Farmer’s Footprint’s work matters to us. Now is time for the American consumer to empower our farmers to take back our food, and to take back our right to healthy food, and the resultant health that the food should bring us and our children.
There is a great community along with great resources on the website for farmers, including a fabulous film short, Farmer’s Footprint: Regeneration. The film features the trials, lessons and victories of the four-generation Breitkreutz family–owners of the Stoney Creek Farm in Redwood Falls, MN—as they transition from conventional farming to regenerative agriculture.
BTW, this ain’t just for farmers. After all, shouldn’t every one of us know how our food is made?
MARINE BIO CONSERVATION SOCIETY
Founded in 1998, the MarineBio Conservation Society (MarineBio) has been a nonprofit volunteer marine conservation and science education group working online together to educate the world about ocean life, marine biology, marine conservation, and to provide a sea ethic that we should all attempt to follow.
According to its website, the mission of MarineBio is:
To provide Marine Education. MarineBio aims to provide educational materials for people of all ages and backgrounds from pre-school children to senior citizens. By sharing scientific knowledge of marine environments we hope to encourage people to engage in marine conservation at all levels, empower citizen scientists and nurture the interests of future marine scientists.
To provide tools for Marine Scientists. MarineBio aims to provide tools for Marine Scientists and those studying Marine Science. This includes a growing Online Scientific Library with up to date species information.
To provide a forum for Communication. MarineBio aims to provide a forum for Marine Scientists to engage with the public as well as one another.
There are enough great resources from videos to tutorials, to articles and so much more on MarineBio’s site to keep even the most peripatetic person engaged.
DEEPER DIVE: MARINEBIO