As Founder, CEO, and Executive Chairman of Above Food, I have seen the term “Regenerative Agriculture” gain widespread popularity in recent years. It has become a buzzword used in various contexts, often without a clear definition. Today, I want to take a moment to address this issue and share our perspective on what Regenerative Agriculture truly means.
Growing up on a fifth-generation farm that has been committed to sustainable practices, my family helped pioneer what is now commonly known as Regenerative Agriculture. Long before the term gained traction, we focused on implementing practices that enhanced the long-term health of our soil, maximized biodiversity, and produced healthier, more nutritious crops.
We adopted no-till farming techniques over 35 years ago, recognizing that disturbing the soil lessened its ability to sequester carbon and reduced soil fertility. By minimizing soil disturbance, we allowed beneficial microbes, earthworms, and other organisms to thrive, creating a vibrant and balanced ecosystem within the soil.
Another aspect of our approach was to embrace diversity. We understood that monoculture farming depleted the soil, making it vulnerable to pests and diseases. Instead, we implemented crop rotation systems that not only improved soil health but also provided natural pest control and nutrient cycling. Our farms were a tapestry of different crops, each contributing to the overall resilience of the system.
Furthermore, we utilized cover crops strategically. Cover crops, such as legumes, helped fix nitrogen in the soil, reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers. They acted as living armor, protecting the soil from erosion, improving water infiltration, and suppressing weeds. Our fields were not left bare between harvests; they were teeming with life, capturing carbon and building organic matter.
So, what is Regenerative Agriculture to us at Above Food? It is the practice of farming in a way that enhances the long-term sustainability of our soil and cultivates healthier foods. We define it as a holistic approach that integrates ecological principles and traditional wisdom to create a healthy planet and nutritious crops.
While the specific practices of Regenerative Agriculture may evolve and adapt over time, our core definition remains steadfast. We are committed to farming practices that prioritize the health of our soil, the well-being of the environment, and the nourishment of our communities.
At Above Food, we believe that Regenerative Agriculture holds immense potential for transforming our food systems. It aligns perfectly with our mission to create a healthier plant, one field, once product, one bite at a time. provide sustainable, nutritious, and delicious food to people worldwide. By focusing on the interconnectedness of healthy soil, healthy plants, and healthy people, we can create a positive impact on both human and planetary health.
So, the next time you hear the term “Regenerative Agriculture” being used, I encourage you to consider the core principles behind it. Let us move beyond buzzwords and ensure that we collectively work towards farming practices that leave the Earth better than we found it—farming that regenerates our soil, nourishes our bodies, and secures a sustainable future.
Join us on this journey towards a healthier planet and healthier foods. Together, we can make a meaningful difference.