– guest: Jonathan Lundgren

In this mini-series I speak to leaders with LAND USE ADAPTATIONS to fight against climate change, biodiversity loss, malnutrition and hunger. Tune-in for a dose of optimism.

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JONATHAN LUNDGREN

The 1000 Regen Farm Initiative

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LAND USE ADAPTATION: the 6-part miniseries >>


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The planet needs a paradigm shift in our food.  Nature has been shouldering the externalities from our input-based and extractive models of food production.  In the contemporary world, that’s just not going to cut it anymore.  Demand for differentiated value-based food product is skyrocketing, while conventional commodities have begun to melt under new pressures & economic strain.  

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We’re bumping-up against planetary boundaries. That’s a pressure-point which will change food and how we’ll manage regenerative natural resources.  So, it’s time for a change, but what gets us there the quickest? Our guest today says that what’s missing is modern science. That this science must become a pillar in every regenerative effort, and with all thinking in order to gain broader adoption.  

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ep. 103: Jonathan Lundgren || On-farm Scientific Analysis to Fuel the Regenerative Movement 

Joining for ep.103 is Ecdysis Foundation founder, Jonathan Lundgren. What’s really needed to frame-out mainstream adoption of regenerative – “it’s good data,” describes Dr. Lundgren.  Good and accurate data coming from bleeding-edge scientific study. So, in January 2022, Ecdysis Foundation launched their 1000 (Regen) farm initiative as the most ambitious agroecology experiment ever conducted.  

Scientific analysis on the oodles of rich data being pulled from all kinds of different farms within diverse regions, sizes and crop types is needed to instigate regenerative from a slow evolution – to the revolution. The millions of data-points-of-light coming from the 1000 farms will be used to measure outcomes inline with best regenerative food production principles.  Jonathan explaines that a simple scoring matrix can make some in-tune predictions. What they seen already is that the more regenerative farms have higher values in this desired Regen outcome matrix.

“The 1000 farm study is to establish the scientific spine to support a transition of food systems more regenerative.”

Dr. Jonathan Lundgren

On all studies at the Ecdysis Foundation each scientist must also be a farmer.  Dr. Lundgren believes the scientific community should rethink what applied science really looks like in their space.  That scientists must connect with the problem that are trying to solve. Can an agricultural scientist truly make revolutionary discoveries in food production when only stuck in a lab, or behind a computer?    

Lundgren says that scientists must once again get their hands dirty in any agricultural domain they’re working in.  Could that type of immersive science accelerate large-scale adoption and grow the regenerative movement? Yeah! More good science from talented scientist is a foundation for growth.

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It’s time for a change. The old stuff is broken. We need a new approach, but this systemic change stuff can be really hard!  There’s all kinds of entrenched interests too.  Lundgren teases us with the notion that this movement could be turned into a revolution with an ecological enlightenment of the scientific community.  

tune-in to find out what it’ll take to…

You see, while working at the USDA, Jonathan Lundgren was an award winning superstar scientist bounding his way up the ranks.  Not willing to be silenced for his true and accurate work, Dr. Lundgren kept to his beliefs and stood tall for what’s right.  These types of folks in public roles, those that stick their neck out to fight corruption are often labeled as… a whistleblower. I think you’ll agree that Dr. Jonathan Lundgren would be better described as a guy who just says it like it is.  

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– bring Regen mainstream.

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As for Lundgren’s POV – to instigate a paradigm shift in food and its production, it has to be done on the shoulders of farmers and with the scientific community that are ready to engage in Regenerative. I think he’s got it right. We need this apples-to-apples comparison with conventional. That analysis speaks the proper language to support the large-scale conversion from conventional to Regen. This may very well be the spine for the Regenerative playbook.

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@Ecdysis Foundation

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photo credit:  Ecdysis Foundation


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LAND USE ADAPTATION – content series

Food produced using innovative REGENERATIVE ADAPTATIONS (like the solutions discussed in this miniseries) will instigate a whole new way of thinking. Eating good food shapes our relationship with nature for the better, and sustains the stomachs of those who influence mindsets well beyond agriculture fields. Demand for this food produced using elevated standards has already skyrocketed. In this series we connect with those in the US leading a paradigm shift towards smarter LAND USE with good food production.

for related discussions CLICK >>

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Fred Kirschenmann has been an agent-of-change in agriculture for five decades.  His work at the Leopold Center at Iowa State University has introduced resilient farming practices to diverse stakeholders, and advanced the adoption of regenerative land management through building an awareness for soil health in the US breadbasket.

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LAND USE ADAPTATION: the 6-part miniseries >>


episode 102:  Fred Kirschenmann || Regenerative Soil Health in Food Production

 

As President of the board at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Tarrytown, NY, Fred has worked with leaders from cuisine, food systems and production agriculture to establish a globally recognized epicenter of research and enrichment for food.  As a whole, Fred’s collective efforts to reconnect us with nature through food and its production elevates him to an iconic stature in a time of ecological enlightenment.  Tune in to hear what this true-action-hero icon has to say about the movement in 2022 and beyond.

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A statesman for a just and stable tomorrow.  Every-time I sit down with Fred I learn something new.  He’s a philosopher and master craftsman of storytelling that has inspired many of us in the movement to take next steps in our own journeys.  Despite holding multiple jobs, overseeing hundreds acres of farmland, and shouldering the weight of the world well into his 80s, Fred remains current on advancements and bleeding-edge research.   Leveraging an impressive compendium of readings and on-going discussions with other iconic thought-leaders – Fred is a wealth of knowledge who continues to mold and sway new mindsets. This type of inspiration from action heroes like Fred serves up quality nourishment for the movement, and fuels deeper engagement.

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When I first stewed over the startup idea to coax food values through the supply chain, Fred coached me to think systematically and to adapt my focus to incorporate different stakeholders in the equation.  He challenged me to include soil health, regenerative land management practice and regional food systems into a single frame that would focus on the betterment for all parties involved.  A decade later, we have a long way to go to reach betterment, but after sitting down and chatting with Fred in this latest end-of-2021 chapter, it’s clear that the revolution has begun.  IMO – what Fred has helped kindle over the last half century will reach a fever pitch within this next generation. I’ve seen first hand the inertia and passion of this generation to come. It’s real and it’s going to happen. Considering all of that, I’ve come to appreciate that how we produce our food and manage the living soil will ultimately determine the stability of the planet.

 

“Folks don’t follow new ideas alone. It’s the leaders of these ideas that motivates others to act; it’s people that drive movements.”

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One thing is for sure, to stabilize this planet under threat we need to be do a better job listening to more of our iconic leaders – like Fred.  Folks who’ve lived-it; folks with real chops in delivering “betterment” to more.  For a more just and prosperous tomorrow, we need to listen to folks that know about instituting nature-based solutions.  The folks worth their salt; the ones with unique wisdom worthy of leading they movement are the action heroes who bring real solutions to the table.

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An infomercial for Regenerative Agriculture & Soil Health, after hearing from an icon of food system and ecological change – be inspired to take the next step in your journey.

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Key Take Aways…

 

EPISODE RECAP:

  • LAND USE: regenerative agriculture is proper on-farm natural resource management
  • HUMAN HEALTH: soil health harmonizes with gut health: microflora not too much different than soil
  • CIRCULAR ECONOMY: investing in soil health results in positive human & public health, planetary stability
  • LABOR: the future farming workforce wants to grow food for each other, and not commodities

WHAT GOOD SOIL OFFERS:

Soil is the lifeblood of every successful civilization.  The positive results and impact of good soil health from regenerative land management practices include:

  • Perpetual food production
  • Carbon Banking & Planetary Stability
  • No chemical and synthetic runoffs
  • Cleaner / health living environment for all stakeholders
  • Enhances nature and biodiversity
  • Sweet water Storage and clarity

GABE BROWN’S 5 PRINCIPLES OF REGENERATIVE:

To get us there we need a new operating model to land management.  Especially when it comes to the way we produce our food, we need a new operating model to land management.  Here are the pillars to support change our relationship with nature and each other.

  1. No disturbance (no-till, no-synthetics)
  2. Bolstering Soil’s Natural Defense (the outer-layer protecting all that life)
  3. Bio-diversity (marrying nature’s way keeps the system healthy)
  4. A living root in the ground as long as possible (cover-crops & seasonal diversity)
  5. Animal & Insect integration (nature relies on the entire system working together)

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@StoneBarns

 


Sometimes you get lucky in life and come across truly inspirational people.  Pioneers of a new way of thinking that within their lifetime will impact the world.

I’ve come to realize that the factor that makes these individuals similar and yet so unique is that they’ve been through-it.  That despite what they encounter in their journey they demonstrate a dogged perseverance in their efforts of change.

“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor an individual perfected without trials.”

Overcoming the pain, the failures, and the self-doubt gained in reaching key waypoints of change is what gives them capacity and the right to don a moniker of being an influencer worth their salt.  After all the hits, every-time they get-up to keep driving change forward.

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When this kind of elbow grease bumps up against something that’s bigger than yourself; when influencers don’t become too salty in their pursuit of a mission to improve the human condition or that of the living planet; when these leaders  instigate a movement – that’s when we see the icons arise.  True Action Heroes that break-down parochial mindsets and evolve behaviors for the betterment of tomorrow actually exist. don’t breathe some kind of rarified air.  Despite being hard to find, these icons of environmental and social change live amongst us – in our times.  Influencers that we should follow, and real action heroes to be idolized.  The Icon series profiles these unique folks who inspire and influence change of mindset and behavior to re-chart more journeys ahead.

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photo credit:  Connie Fualk & Iowa Informer


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LAND USE ADAPTATION – content series

Food produced using innovative REGENERATIVE ADAPTATIONS (like the solutions discussed in this miniseries) will instigate a whole new way of thinking. Eating good food shapes our relationship with nature for the better, and sustains the stomachs of those who influence mindsets well beyond agriculture fields. Demand for this food produced using elevated standards has already skyrocketed. In this series we connect with those in the US leading a paradigm shift towards smarter LAND USE with good food production.

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for related discussions CLICK >>

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Proper land use and natural resource management on public lands is a mechanism to foster greater planetary stability.  Here to discuss how parks spawn all kinds of greater consciousness is the President & CEO of the National Park Foundation, Will Shafroth.

LAND USE ADAPTATION: the 6-part miniseries >>


episode 101:  Will Shafroth  ||  CEO & President of National Park Foundation

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Throughout the 45 minute conversation we explore how exposure, experience and immersion into the US National Parks changes mindsets for the better. We hear how enlightenment, empathy and environmental consciousness is presented each and every year to over 330 million visitors in 423 parks. Spanning all 50 states, the parks encompass 84 million acres, 2400 historical sites, 17K miles of trails and 43K miles of shoreline, and are available to us all as a public service.

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WILL SHAFROTH, NPF

Wallace Stegner famously called the National Parks “America’s Best Idea”. Will Shafroth and his team at the National Park Foundation (NPF) believe that this best idea should be common grounds available to each and everyone of us no matter background or history. Under Shafroth’s leadership, the National Park Foundation has spawned numerous initiatives to foster inclusion for all audiences and to cater to those who have been often overlooked in previous generations of visitors. Owning “the Good, the Bad and the Ugly” of National Parks and US History, Shafroth looks to the wide array of Parks, Sites and Monuments as learning laboratories and living classrooms that will progress social and environmental solutions for decades to come.

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The vast majority of the National Parks remain untouched wilderness. This wilderness combined with smart land use and proper natural resource management will help stabilize a planet under threat by coming at a new world from a few different angles.  Not only will these public lands (with a collective footprint about the size of Montana) clean water, sequester & bank carbon, and nurture biodiversity, but the National Parks offer these living classrooms for deeper understanding and appreciation for the all important Nature-Based Solutions to climate change. Ultimately, reconnecting more of us with natural order is a required next step in (climate) action to mitigate climate change.

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In feeding our souls by reconnecting us with Nature and with each other, the public lands of our National Parks can teach us about who we were, who we are now, and what we can become if we strive for a more just and balanced future.

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photo credit: National Park Foundation


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LAND USE ADAPTATION – content series

Food produced using innovative REGENERATIVE ADAPTATIONS (like the solutions discussed in this miniseries) will instigate a whole new way of thinking. Eating good food shapes our relationship with nature for the better, and sustains the stomachs of those who influence mindsets well beyond agriculture fields. Demand for this food produced using elevated standards has already skyrocketed. In this series we connect with those in the US leading a paradigm shift towards smarter LAND USE with good food production.

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for related discussions CLICK >>

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