Making informed business and investment decisions in the regenerative agriculture and food space requires a foundational understanding of what exactly regenerative agriculture is. While the term “regenerative agriculture” is still in its relative infancy and may be defined differently depending on who is asked, there is no debate that soil health is at the center of any regenerative production system. Therefore, understanding soil health is essential to understanding investment in regenerative food systems.
In Gabe Brown’s Dirt to Soil, an inspiring first-hand account of transitioning an industrially managed commodity farm to a regenerative, profitable operation, he defines five principles of soil health that are universal:
- Limited disturbance – from mechanical, chemical, and physical sources
- Armor – keep soil covered
- Diversity – in plant and animal species
- Living roots – maintain these as long as possible throughout the year
- Integrated animals – for their many benefits to the entire ecosystem
These five principles provide a tremendous starting point for anyone learning about soil health and regenerative agriculture — but they are only the beginning. For those looking for a more robust dive into regenerative agricultural production, our partners at Acres U.S.A. have much to offer in advanced learning. We’ve included a few articles here from their resources at Eco-Farming Daily.
Building the Microbial Bridge for Soil Health By Gary Zimmer and Leilani Zimmer Durand
Soil Fertility, Biodiversity and the Gut Microbiome By Spencer Smith
Soil Health, Quality & Microbial Diversity By Bob Kremer, Ph.D.
Learn about soil health from the best!
Next week Acres U.S.A. will hold their 44th annual Eco-Ag Conference & Trade Show in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where some of these authors and many more will be presenting intensive workshops and learning sessions. There’s no better way to learn than in person from the farmers who are producing through regenerative methods for a living!