The connection between conservation and agriculture is not lost on many agricultural producers today as issues with soil erosion, water pollution, and agricultural responsibility for carbon emissions dominate the headlines–drawing national attention to the challenges of the conventional food system and the havoc it can wreak on the environment. An article on NPR’s website notes that the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico from runoff of fertilizer from the cropfields of the Midwest is the biggest it’s ever been–the size of New Jersey. Stories like “The Gulf Of Mexico’s Dead Zone Is The Biggest Ever Seen” paint a picture of agricultural producers as destroyers of the environment and brings to light the need for more farmers and ranchers to manage holistically and address the environmental and social needs of their families and communities as well as the address the financial realities of being an agricultural producer.
Author Miriam Horn wants to share that conservation agriculture perspective with her book and movie titled “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman” which premiered at the Sundance Festival and will also be airing on the Discovery Channel on August 31st. She wanted to highlight producers who have that conservation ethic and let others know that agriculture producers do care about the environment and the land they manage.
We have the same focus at HMI where for over 30 years we have been highlighting the work of some of the most innovative farmers and ranchers in the world who have been given awards for their land ethic and stewardship. These holistic agriculture producers have proven time and time again that doing right by the land can actually be more profitable because the land becomes more productive and resilient. Whether their focus is on the soil or wildlife habitat, holistic agricultural producers noted in a recent survey that they saw improvements in:
|Result||% of participants experiencing improvement|
|Improved Wildlife Habitat||74%|
|Increased Soil Cover||78%|
|Improved Water Infiltration||75%|
|Increased Organic Matter||79%|
Clearly Holistic Management is a Regenerative Solution to the challenges of 21st century agriculture as producers engage in practices like Holistic Planned Grazing, No-Till, and Cover Crops to heal the land, grow healthy food, and create thriving communities.
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