“I just want agriculture to be what it once was again. When I think about agriculture, I think about growing things—that’s not what’s happening now,” says Nancy O’Conner, a conservation farmer in Nebraska who advocates for regenerative practices. Nancy’s farm includes a stunning recreation of the grasslands native to the Nebraskan prairie, brimming with biodiversity and colors that have disappeared from much of the state’s grazing lands. But far from a nostalgic paean to the past, it’s a project that showcases the kinds of techniques that can transform agriculture’s future—so that it works for people and the planet.Conventional farming accounts for 10% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions—and that’s not just because of natural processes associated with livestock. The many ways that land is used, abused, and poisoned with GHG-intensive fertilizers and pesticides are also degrading the soil, drastically reducing its ability to sequester carbon.
And while conventional (or “degenerative”) agriculture is hurting our atmosphere, the extractive, monopolistic practices of Big Ag are hurting family farms, eroding their communities, and destroying their water, all while producing low-quality and unhealthy food.
That’s why we’re so excited to be working with regenerative farmers and ranchers in Nebraska who are pioneering small-scale, sustainable practices, while linking their efforts to the struggle for food justice in marginalized communities in cities like Omaha. Stay tuned for more info on how regenerative techniques can sustain the land, produce better, more nutritious food, and reduce emissions—and how you can join these farmers in taking back our agricultural system for the people, and our communities.