Embracing Regenerative Agriculture for a Healthier Planet

October 25, 2023

I’ve recently delved into an inspiring subject thanks to an amazing documentary called Kiss the Ground, which looks at the farming practice of regenerative agriculture. Soil health plays a pivotal role in the future of human well-being, our capacity to sustain ourselves, and the ecosystems we continue to encroach upon for agriculture. Soil erosion and chemical pollution are inflicting severe damage on soil health. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, in 2014, it was reported that the world loses an area of soil equivalent to a soccer field to erosion every 5 seconds. If this trend persists, the world’s topsoil could vanish within 60 years. While it’s challenging to distill the complexity of Earth’s diverse soils into a single metric, the fact remains that our soil is in jeopardy, and consequently, so are we.  

What is Regenerative Agriculture? 

Regenerative Agriculture comprises a set of practices designed to heal and safeguard the soil, enhance its organic content, which, in turn, improves its capacity to absorb and retain water while enduring wind and other stresses. These practices encompass minimizing soil disturbances through no-till or low-till farming techniques, reducing the use of fertilizers and herbicides, maximizing biodiversity of both plants and animals, ensuring soil coverage as much as possible, and adapting to local environmental conditions. 

What’s Remarkable about Regenerative Agriculture? 

In a broader sense, it symbolizes responsible stewardship. It appears that the more we let the soil thrive by emulating natural ecosystems and interfering less, the healthier the soil becomes. The creation of topsoil takes millennia, and by increasing organic material in the soil and shielding it from erosion, we are not only preserving a vital resource but also protecting remaining forests and grasslands from further human encroachment due to soil erosion and desertification caused by poor stewardship. 

Moreover, this healthy soil offers more than just nourishing food; it also presents an opportunity to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon in the soil. Traditional tilling releases carbon into the atmosphere as CO2 emissions, so using no-till methods reduces farming-related greenhouse gas emissions, and concurrently, carbon sequestration occurs when soils are kept covered with diverse crops or plants. The French government has introduced an initiative known as “4 per 1,000,” which aims to harness the power of soil carbon sequestration to offset the level of greenhouse gases produced by humans, achieved through regenerative agriculture, forest preservation, and grassland conservation. 

Certainly, reducing greenhouse gases is a critical step in combating the climate crisis. We came close to resolving climate change in the 1970s and early 1980s, but the U.S. has since chosen not to take substantial action (for a profound exploration of this moment, you can refer to the book “Losing Earth” by Nathaniel Rich). 

How to Move Forward 

There is a plethora of ways that everyone can get involved: as individuals, we can play a significant role in advancing regenerative agriculture and soil health. By supporting local farmers who prioritize regenerative practices, you’re directly contributing to the sustainability of your local environment. Additionally, donating to nonprofits dedicated to educating the public on these issues helps spread awareness and knowledge. Lastly, engaging with your local government through petitions and advocacy can influence policies that promote regenerative agriculture and protect our precious soils. Let’s all take action to ensure a healthier future for ourselves and the planet. 

Our Favorite Informational Resource List 

This list was created by the Regenerative Agriculture panelists at the ESG for Impact! 2023 Conference.

Skya Ducheneaux, Akiptan – Mark Lewis, Trailhead Capital – Monica Miller, Impact Investors – Joel Moyer, Fair Food Network

Kiss the Ground Film | Official Website (kissthegroundmovie.com) 

Croatan Institute – “Leveraging Finance to Build a Just and Resilient Economy”

Native Agriculture Markey Study Report – Akiptan

American Indian Foods – Since 1998 Made/Produced by American Indians

Regenerative Food Systems Investment – Article “Regenerative Capital: Aligning Reality with Capital”

Transformational Investing in Food Systems (TIFS)

NRDC – Regenerative Agriculture 101 Guide

Mad Agriculture – We help farmers thrive in regenerative organic agriculture.

Rodale Institute – 75 Years of Organic Leadership

US Farmers and Ranchers in Action – “Every farmer, every acre, every voice matters”

The information contained herein, including but not limited to research, market valuations, calculations, estimates, and other material obtained from Impact Investors, PBC and other sources, are believed to be reliable. However, Impact Investors, Inc. does not warrant its accuracy or completeness. These materials are provided for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. Past performance is not indicative of future results.


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