Published on Feb 22, 2018
Regenerating our Soils: Hope for Farming & Climate—Part 1
Invocation by Valentin Lopez, Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band
Some 30 years ago, the late Robert Rodale challenged an EcoFarm audience to embrace his “Regenerative Agriculture” prescription. Although our movement, over the ensuing three decades, reached significant milestones in the detoxification of production systems – staking claim to the fastest growing share of America’s food marketplace in the process – much of Rodale’s vision for a benign agroecology is yet to be realized. EcoFarm 2018’s opening keynote features one trailblazing trio – scientist, cultivator and educator – whose innovative achievements guide us towards agricultural practices in greater harmony with our planet’s natural systems.
Agronomist “Ray-the-Soil-Guy” Archuleta was nearly drummed out of the Natural Resources Conservation Service early this century for espousing “radical” soil health notions. More recently, Ray spearheaded his agency’s renaissance, energizing NRCS staff across the nation with science-based soil health evangelism, while mentoring cadres of cutting- edge no-tillers like Gabe Brown.
North Dakota farmer Gabe Brown is the celebrated poster kid for a new breed of no-till practitioners who, by embracing high-species- diversity cover crops, broadened rotations and adaptive ruminant grazing, have vastly improved their farms’ productivity, soil function and carbon-carrying capacity.