Courtney White: Farming Like the Earth Matters

Vox Populi

Many young people in agriculture today are looking to the past and discovering that nature’s model works best.

It is easy to forget that once upon a time all agriculture was organic, grassfed, and regenerative.

Seed saving, composting, fertilizing with manure, polycultures, no-till and raising livestock entirely on grass—all of which we associate today with sustainable food production—was the norm a century ago. And somehow we managed to feed ourselves and do so in a manner that followed nature’s model of regeneration.

We all know what happened next: the plow, the tractor, fossil fuels, monocrops, nitrogen fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, feedlots, animal byproducts, e. coli, CAFOs, GMOs, erosion —practices and conditions that most Americans today think of as “normal,” when they think about agriculture at all.

Fortunately, a movement to rediscover and implement “old” practices has risen rapidly, abetted by innovations in technology, breakthroughs in scientific knowledge, and tons of…

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