RR News Update: May 23, 2019


This week’s hearing on Climate Change and the Agriculture Sector in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry netted a range of reactions from media outlets. We have a wide range of coverage from various outlets. Also read about the economics of the 2018 organic industry, a new food/farm partnership, the devastating affects of soil erosion, and more.

In the Headlines: 

Varied Reactions Greet U.S. Ag Committee Climate Change Hearings

This week’s hearing on Climate Change and the Agriculture Sector in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry netted a range of reactions from media outlets.

While some reports congratulated the Senate for addressing the subject in a bipartisan way, others pointed to the lack of climate scientists among those testifying.

Leadership of the committee opened the proceedings with very different messages. Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) pointed to the need to feed billions of people now and in the future, saying there is no silver bullet solution. Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) looked to soil health and regenerative agriculture practices as ways to create the change needed to stem the climate crisis. Both pointed out that much of the sustainability work by farmers and ranchers so far has been voluntary.

Capital Press reported that farmers and ranchers welcome advancements that lighten their environmental impact. But Mother Jones pointed out deficiencies in all of the testimony, saying industry spokespeople were giving themselves too much credit for already being climate friendly.

The following day, more than 75 business leaders worth $2.5 trillion in annual revenues lobbied Congress for climate action.

We would love to hear your take on the Climate Change and Agriculture Sector hearings. Join the conversation on Twitter and use #RaisingRegenerative.


An Economic Perspective:

U.S. Organic Sales Break Through $50 Billion Mark in 2018
Sales of organic products in the U.S. rose by over 6 percent in 2018. Millennials are credited with leading the charge as both food and non-food sectors saw growth well above non-organic options. This report from the Organic Trade Association looks at growth markets across the organic spectrum.
Read more here

Soil Erosion Washes Away $8 Billion Annually
The extended dry spells and heavy rains characteristic of the current climate in many parts of the world is leading to soil erosion that is causing both economic losses and reduced food production. Countries least responsible for climate change are feeling the brunt of its impacts.
Read more here


Partnership Benefits All:

Baking Made Good for You and the Planet
Through a partnership with Grounded Growth, Bella Gluten Free is donating a portion of their net sales to cover the cost of cover crops at Knopf Farms. The project will help farmers sequester carbon in their fields and improve soil health. Is this the wave of the future?
Read more here


Deal Activity and New Projects:

Collaboration Aims to Improve Crop Nutrition
Compass Minerals and Marrone Bio Innovations Inc. are joining together on a project to develop new specialty plant nutrient products enhanced with microorganisms. The value-added plants are expected to bring higher yields and a better return on investment.
Read more here

Small Farmer Project Wins Lush Spring Prize
YICE Uganda was awarded for their project that gives refugees in the Bukompe settlement access to regenerative agricultural training and flexible financial services to reduce hunger and poverty. Over 100 female farmers have been trained in permaculture farming as part of the project.
Read more here


What We’re Reading:

Young Farmers Are Determined To Carry On Family Tradition
Farming has become a tough sell in Texas where nearly 400 farms have disappeared in the last five years. Young farmers are turning to more progressive practices like regenerative agriculture to keep farming as a viable option for the next generation.
Read more here

Regenerative Agriculture: How It Works on the Ground
Fritz Haber and Norman Borlaug were two Nobel Peace Prize winners who changed the way we feed the world. The unintended results of industrialized farming are now leading to the rise of regenerative ag as we look behind the veil of “uber-abundance.”
Read more here

Big Food Turns to Regenerative Agriculture to Meet Sustainability Goals
As nearly half of U.S. consumers indicate that a company’s commitment to the environment influences their shopping choices, big companies like General Mills, Danone, and Hormel Foods are committing finances and acreage to regenerative agriculture.
Read more here



Levi’s Investing in Hemp as Sustainable Cotton Alternative
The denim icon is looking at hemp as a sustainable solution in several ways including a reduction of water and chemicals in the growing process.
Read more here

As Southern Spain Dries Up, Its Farmers Get Inventive
The AlVelAl Association is working with farmers and businesses in Andalusia to prevent desertification and regenerate communities. Nut trees are a big part of the plan.
Read more here


In Case You Missed It:

How Investing In Regenerative Agriculture Can Help Stem Climate Change Profitably
RFSI Forum speakers David LeZaks of Delta Institute and Craig Wichner of Farmland LP join Devin Thorpe on the Your Mark on the World podcast to discuss how investing in regenerative agriculture can impact the food supply, climate change, water supplies, and world peace.
Listen here


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