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.


JONATHAN LUNDGREN

The 1000 Regen Farm Initiative

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LAND USE ADAPTATION – content series

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. Jonathan 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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Most have awoken to the fact that there’s no growth in this old stuff.  That it’s time for a new approach. But this systemic change stuff can be really hard…  There’s all kinds of entrenched interests too.  But Dr. Lundgren teases us with the notion that this movement could be turned into a revolution if spurred-on with more ecological enlightenment of the scientific community.   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 – in standing tall for what’s right.  These types of folks in public roles 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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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 right. We need this apples-to-apples comparison with conventional. That analysis speaks the proper language to support the large-scale conversation from conventional. That may just be the spine of the Regen playbook.

@Ecdysis Foundation

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Tune in to find out what it’s going to take to… bring Regen mainstream?!  

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LAND USE ADAPTATION – content series

Food can sway mindsets. It connects us. Food also normally plays a bit part anytime perspectives are changed. Producing food that’s more in-sync with nature will in fact will have some serious sway in molding the behaviors of tomorrow’s producers, eaters, land owners and public agencies alike.

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The diverse values that arise with re-connecting to nature’s regenerative systems when producing food just invites all kinds of folks to enjoy the better bounty. It’s sustenance that is an investment in our personal health, it’s a venue for climate action, it’s soon-to-be boom-town innovation economy, and it’s a dose of benevolence for those making this stuff that may not have had it as lucky.

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Some say this commitment to good food which is produced from regenerative land use practice can instigate a whole new way of thinking. That the stomach of tomorrow really owns the mindset of those shaping how we manage this relationship with nature. Can the US be ground zero for this paradigm shift in producing food? let’s explore

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photo credit:  Ecdysis Foundation


Ep. 102: Fred Kirschenmann || Land Use Adaptation series: Regenerative Soil Health

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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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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, and it is people that drive movements of change.

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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


 

Ep. 101: Will Shafroth – National Park Foundation, CEO & President ||

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Proper land use and natural resource management on public lands is a mechanism to foster greater planetary stability.  Joining as guest of episode 101 is the President and CEO of the National Park Foundation, Will Shafroth.  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


 

a UN Food System Summit & Sourcing Matters miniseries

Together, the UN Food Systems Summit and Sourcing Matters launch their new and thought-provoking podcast series, Laying Down Tracks.

This inspiring 8-part miniseries, led by Aaron Niederhelman, will feature world experts on issues related to world hunger, malnutrition, climate change, and much more. Focused on the real experiences of rolling out the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, each episode will bring forward solutions through motivating discussions.

We are laying down tracks to head into a new world where our food systems mean prosperity for people and the planet.  Listen now to Laying Down Tracks (LDTs) to learn how you, too, can help save our planet.


SPECIAL EPISODE:


Food Solutions for the Forcibly Displaced

Host: Aaron Niederhelman, Sourcing Matters podcast
Guest: Valerie Newsom Guarnieri, WFP Assistant Executive Director
Guest: Raouf Mazou, Assistant High Commissioner of Operations at the UNHCR
Guest: Malish James, WFP Storyteller refugee

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‘Laying Down Tracks’ special episode:

It’s World Refugee Day and we are bringing to you a special encore episode to tune into. This episode touches on the importance of creating an environment of self-reliance for the more than 80 million people displaced worldwide – approximately the population of Germany. “People leave their home because of food insecurity and then results in even more food insecurity because they cannot produce anymore,” says the Assistant High Commissioner of Operations at the UNHCR, Raouf Mazou.

Episode guest and WFP Assistant Executive Director, Valerie Newsom, similarly echoes the importance of creating self-reliance: “A big problem for a lot of refugees is access to land. One exciting solution we have been working on is adapting a low-tech hydroponics technique that allow people to grow food in impossible places. Whenever there is an opportunity with a little bit of land for refugees to grow some of their food needs, we take that opportunity.”

Listen to this conversation with Raouf, Valerie, and WFP Storyteller refugee Malish James as they discuss who the forcibly displaced really represent and why we are seeing such an increase in number, as we continue to Lay Down Tracks to the UN Food Systems Summit.

https://www.un.org/en/food-systems-summit/laying-down-tracks

 


credits: 


 

a UN Food System Summit & Sourcing Matters miniseries

Together, the UN Food Systems Summit and Sourcing Matters launch their new and thought-provoking podcast series, Laying Down Tracks.

This inspiring 8-part miniseries, led by Aaron Niederhelman, will feature world experts on issues related to world hunger, malnutrition, climate change, and much more. Focused on the real experiences of rolling out the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, each episode will bring forward solutions through motivating discussions.

We are laying down tracks to head into a new world where our food systems mean prosperity for people and the planet.  Listen now to Laying Down Tracks (LDTs) to learn how you, too, can help save our planet.


EPISODE FOUR:


Equitable Livelihoods, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Host: Aaron Niederhelman, Sourcing Matters podcast
Co-host: Dr Jemimah Njuki, Director for Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Lead of the Summit’s Gender Lever of Change
Guest: Dr. Shakuntala Thilsted, the Global Lead for Nutrition and Public Health at World Fish, and 2021 World Food Prize Laureate.

What better way to mark World Oceans Day then listening to episode 4 of Laying Down Tracks? This week’s episode brings a fascinating discussion about planet, gender equality, and how we can best engage with the Ocean. “We need women’s voices and leadership to be prominent in food systems. It’s the only way to guarantee that food systems are just. I’ve been working as the custodian for gender equality…working with all of the Action Track leaders…to make sure that gender equality, the empowerment of women, is embedded in these solutions,” says Dr. Jemimah Njuki, Director for Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Lead of the Summit’s Gender Lever of Change, who joins Aaron as co-host in this conversation about equitable livelihoods, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Aquatic foods in the future can become a key forum for equality and inclusion. Guest in this episode, Dr. Shakuntala Thilsted, The Global Lead for Nutrition and Public Health at World Fish, and 2021 World Food Prize Laureate, explains how she hopes that winning the Food Prize will inspire young women and girls to study science: “It is extremely rewarding, extremely invigorating-you can reach far – and you can have a good time!” she says.

Listen to this conversation on gender equality, and women empowerment within the aquatic food economy as we continue to Lay Down Tracks to the UN Food Systems Summit.

https://www.un.org/en/food-systems-summit/laying-down-tracks

www.SourcingMatters.show



credits: 


 

a UN Food System Summit & Sourcing Matters miniseries

Together, the UN Food Systems Summit and Sourcing Matters launch their new and thought-provoking podcast series, Laying Down Tracks.

This inspiring 8-part miniseries, led by Aaron Niederhelman, will feature world experts on issues related to world hunger, malnutrition, climate change, and much more. Focused on the real experiences of rolling out the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, each episode will bring forward solutions through motivating discussions.

We are laying down tracks to head into a new world where our food systems mean prosperity for people and the planet.  Listen now to Laying Down Tracks (LDTs) to learn how you, too, can help save our planet.


EPISODE THREE:


Nature-Based Production

Host: Aaron Niederhelman, Sourcing Matters podcast
Co-host: Joao Campari, Global Leader of the WWF’s Food Practice and Chair of the UN Food Systems Summit Action Track 3
Guest: Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean

‘Laying Down Tracks’ ep.3:

The oceans and their coastal areas are an essential component of the Earth’s ecosystem hosting between 500,000 and 10 million species that provide a wide range of ecosystem services. “We cannot have a healthy planet without healthy oceans, and in any global discussion on biodiversity the ocean must be front-and-centre,” explains Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, who is a guest on this episode, co-hosted by Joao Campari, Global Leader of the WWF’s Food Practice and Chair of the UN Food Systems Summit Action Track 3.

Approximately 3 billion people in the world rely on wild-caught and farmed seafood as a primary source of protein, while at the same time agriculture uses up 38 percent of the global land surface. Whether on land or at sea, we are using up our precious resources and destroying others that can help us recover like biodiversity. With only nine more harvests remaining on a promise to meet the SDGs by 2030, it is important we find the right balance both for the health of our planet but also for the health of people everywhere.

Listen to this conversation on nature-based solutions and the blue economy as we continue to Lay Down Tracks to the UN Food Systems Summit.



credits: 


 

Ep. 95: Paul Hawken – environmentalist, entrepreneur, author, and activist ||

For episode 95 of Sourcing Matters we welcome environmentalist, entrepreneur, author and activist Paul Hawken to the show. Paul has dedicated his life to environmental sustainability and changing the relationship between business and the environment.  Hawken is a leading voice in the environmental movement, and a pioneering architect of corporate reform with respect to ecological practices.  Paul authors articles, op-eds, and peer-reviewed papers, and has written eight books including five national bestsellers. He has appeared in diverse media outlets including the Today Show, Bill Maher, Talk of the Nation, Charlie Rose, and has been profiled or featured in hundreds of articles including the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Business Week, Esquire, and US News & World Report. Paul is a dynamic public speaker, and he has served on the board of many environmental organizations.
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Paul Hawken is founder of Project Drawdown, a non-profit dedicated to researching when and how global warming can be reversed. The organization maps and models the scaling of one hundred substantive technological, social, and ecological solutions to global warming.  The book, which Paul helped write and edited, describes 100 solutions of change, 80 of which are currently in practice.  To clarify – ‘Drawdown’ is the point at which the concentration of greenhouse gases begins to decline. The solutions in the book are ranked by the number of gigatons of CO2, or the equivalent, that they would avoid or sequester between the years 2020 and 2050. They range from big difference-makers such as refrigerant management, wind turbines, and food waste to those that are important but not as impactful, including methane digesters, green roofs, and microgrids.
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In our 45 minute discussion we learn from Paul that our only future is regenerative. In fact, our quickest and most pragmatic approach get to the goals of Project Drawdown is to evolve our land management practices in the way we produce our food. Paul explains, that now tooled with modern data analysis and peer-reviewed science supporting regenerative agriculture – investing in soil health is the #1 way to reverse climate change – “by a factor of four or five – SOIL is the largest solution.”
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We learn of Paul’s current work “Regeneration – ending the climate crisis in one generation” – expected release in 2021. We also learn about some of Paul’s business ventures.  Food, garden and energy – all within his sweet spot. We hear a bit about Erewhon, one of the first natural food companies in the U.S. that relied solely on sustainable agricultural methods. Additionally, Hawken co-founded Smith & Hawken, the retail and catalog garden company. In 2009 Paul founded OneSun, an energy company focused on ultra low-cost solar based on green chemistry and biomimicry that is now known as Energy Everywhere.
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Joining as cohost is Dutch-American Agricultural Economist- Renée Vassilos. Renée recently joined The Nature Conservancy as their Agriculture Innovation Director.  She manages TNC’s investments in early stage agtech companies that will support regenerative agriculture production – at scale.  Vassilos spent over fifteen years in the production agriculture space.  Her work experience includes time spent with the USDA, she’s started her own consultancy to help investors and Agtech companies, and she spent nearly a decade with John Deere; much of that time in Beijing.
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Tune-in to hear what this soothsayer has to say about what’s next for us and the planet. 

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@ProjectDrawdown

 

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co-host:

Renée Vassilos

  • Agricultural Economist
  • The Nature Conservancy  Ag Innovation Director
  • past portfolio manager: Deere China
  • Bilingual Dutch / American citizen 

Full bio: 

Renée Vassilos is a Dutch-American Agricultural Economist who has spent over fifteen years in the production agriculture space.  Her work experience includes time spent with the USDA, she has started her own consultancy to help investors and Agtech companies, she spent  nearly a decade with John Deere; much of that in Beijing.  

Renée has recently joined The Nature Conservancy as their Agriculture Innovation Director.  She will manage TNC’s investments in early stage agtech companies that will support regenerative agriculture production – at scale.

Ep. 91: Benedikt Bösel – Managing Director & Proprietor of Schlossgut Alt Madlitz – Germany ||

For episode 91 of Sourcing Matters we welcome Benedikt Bösel, the Managing Director and Proprietor of Schlossgut Alt Madlitz in Brandenburg, Germany.
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Through regenerative food production and forestry management; through hunting excursions and land stewardship initiatives; through a royal bed & breakfast and restaurant – Bösel offers patrons a unique experience dedicated to capturing and sharing the vitality found in nature’s systems.  Since Benedikt has taken the reins of this 7500 acre estate located 1 hour east of Berlin – it’s become an Agtech innovation hot-bed, and an epicenter for testing / implementing Regenerative Natural Resource Management at scale.
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What we learn in this 45 minute discussion is that Benedikt Bösel is diversifying and innovating on his family’s iconic German estate through investing in the future.  A regenerative future which marries and harmonizes with natural systems for maximum benefit to us, to the planet and to all of its co-inhabitants.
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Joining in on the conversation is good friend of the show Renée Vassilos, a Dutch-American Agricultural Economist who has spent over fifteen years in the production agriculture space.  Her work experience includes time spent with the USDA, she has started her own consultancy to help investors and Agtech companies, she spent  nearly a decade with John Deere; much of that time in Beijing.   Renée has recently joined The Nature Conservancy as their Agriculture Innovation Director.  She’ll manage TNC’s investments in early stage agtech companies that will support regenerative agriculture production – at scale.
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TuneIn to hear more about what regenerative really looks like. Both the opportunities and the challenges. Hear how when empowered to be better stewards of the land, we can tackle many of the biggest problems facing us in generations to come. Benedikt and Renée are our future, TuneIn to hear their positive POV on what’s in store.

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@AltMadlitz

 

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co-host:

Renée Vassilos

  • Agricultural Economist
  • The Nature Conservancy  Ag Innovation Director
  • past portfolio manager: Deere China
  • Bilingual Dutch / American citizen 

Full bio: 

Renée Vassilos is a Dutch-American Agricultural Economist who has spent over fifteen years in the production agriculture space.  Her work experience includes time spent with the USDA, she has started her own consultancy to help investors and Agtech companies, she spent  nearly a decade with John Deere; much of that in Beijing.  

Renée has recently joined The Nature Conservancy as their Agriculture Innovation Director.  She will manage TNC’s investments in early stage agtech companies that will support regenerative agriculture production – at scale.

Ep. 89: Kevin Murphy, former CEO & President to Driscoll’s fresh berries Enterprises ||

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On episode 89 we welcome Kevin Murphy, former CEO of California-based fresh berry company – Driscoll’s.  Murphy has 30 years of business and agriculture experience. Kevin joined Driscoll’s, the world leader in fresh berries with operations in over 20 countries, in 2007 and rose to President and CEO. Prior to Driscoll’s he was at Capurro Farms where he served for three years as President. For roughly 15 years, Kevin was with Fresh Express from its early inception to its acquisition. During that period he held various jobs that included heading up strategic planning, marketing and operations for the company.
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Most recently, Murphy has become an advocate for the farmers he spent three decades working arm in arm.  Since stepping down at Driscoll’s – Kevin has decided to take on the issue of undocumented workers in agriculture head on.  In a recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, Murphy explained that American farmers desperately need immigration reform.  The editorial teased the readers with a subtitle – “will migrant workers produce our food here or somewhere else?”  What’s great about it – in this WSJ piece Murphy doesn’t lament over the problems.  Instead, he lays out a three step plan to reform immigration in this country beginning from our ground zero – the fields that produce what sustains us and our families everyday.

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In our 50 minute conversation we go deep into Murphy’s three-step plan for immigration reform.  We discuss how that will impact the American farmer and consumer.  We learn how this approach in agriculture could very well be the proving grounds for a much grander solution for immigration reform for the 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country now, and the volumes more set to arrive in generations to come.  We learn how Kevin’s background as an immigrant to the US has offered him unique insight into the issues, and the solutions.  And, we hear how his formidable years dealing with apartheid in South Africa with his work throughout California agriculture has matriculated into him becoming a champion for the underrepresented and the marginalized.
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Want to know what’s really going on with immigration in this country – then turn to your food.  Start to peel back the layers and get some of the backstory of where your sustenance is actually coming from and whose hands are getting dirty in the process.  Need a crash course on how to reassess this? Where to begin being part of a solution for the future – then TuneIn to our conversation with food system reformer Kevin Murphy.
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Ep. 85: Greg Horner, Greg Horner Consulting – Profiles in Land and Management Series ||

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As we contemplate a future where land management is an important part of addressing climate change (as the IPCC Report suggests), we can’t overlook the vast acres of US public lands.  These acres need to be resilient to the stresses of climate change, and we also have an opportunity to manage them in ways that increase their ability to store carbon.  By shifting our management of these lands to prioritize soil health, we can achieve multiple benefits for the climate, the water cycle, and biodiversity.
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Using adaptive grazing is one important strategy to increase the soil health of our public grasslands and rangelands. For episode 85 of Sourcing Matters, consultant Greg Horner discusses his recent work interviewing innovative public land managers across the US about their use of adaptive grazing as a tool to improve soil health, restore ecosystem function, and increase biodiversity.  While these agency staff are increasing soil health, they are also increasing soil carbon and making the land they manage more resilient to climate change.
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But wait, cows are bad for the climate, right?  And grazing is damaging to public lands? 

The current state of scientific knowledge suggests a more complex reality: while cattle in feedlots (where most beef comes from) have a high carbon footprint, well-managed cattle on pasture can be carbon-negative, sequestering more carbon in the soil than they produce in methane (White Oak Pastures Life Cycle Assessment – PDF). By accelerating soil health and soil-building efforts, adaptive grazing can be an important strategy for improving ecological outcomes on public and private lands.
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While grazing can absolutely damage public lands, it is not the cattle that are responsible but the human managers.  Like a hammer, grazing is a tool that can be used to tear things down or build them up.  With careful management, adaptive grazing can provide the disturbance that a landscape needs to function properly, recreating the historical impact of herds of wild grazers, stimulating grass growth, and providing a landscape that promotes a diversity of plants and animals.
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In partnership with TomKat Ranch, the McKnight Foundation and others, Greg created a series of profiles of public land managers who are redefining the value of grazing on public lands.  Instead of using continuous grazing, most of these managers are moving cattle frequently, providing intense impact in small areas and then moving on to new areas and letting the grass recover without being re-grazed.  These managers report multiple benefits, from better forage quality and quantity to an extended growing season, from increased bird or tiger salamander populations to reduced erosion and increased water infiltration.  These managers are building soil carbon for a variety of reasons, and their stories are an inspiration.

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TuneIn to our 40 minute discussion for a better understanding of our role in proper management of public lands for the future.
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@GregoryHorner

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Summary prepared by Greg Horner