Regenerative Agriculture

Supporting healthy soil, improving productivity, and creating equitable food systems in Minnesota
Spotlight: Regenerative Agriculture Guide

Regenerative agriculture improves climate resiliency, helping farmers avoid the devastating economic losses brought by flooding, droughts, and other extreme weather events.  It also benefits society by fostering racial and economic justice and returns power by restoring political influence to farming communities.

The most immediate way you can support regenerative agriculture is to purchase regeneratively produced foods for your own and/or your family’s use. We all pay the costs of conventional agriculture through Farm Bill subsidies, pollution of our waters and streams, and much more. Paying a premium for regenerative products means we pay a fair price from the beginning instead of leaving our neighbors and future generations to pay for the true price of conventional products.

Learn more with our Regenerative Agriculture Guide.

Working Principles

At MN350, we define Regenerative Agriculture as a dynamic system of land stewardship, rooted in centuries-old indigenous wisdom, that provides healthy, plant-rich, nutrient-dense food for all people, while continuously restoring and nourishing the ecological, social, and cultural systems unique to every place.

Soil Disturbance

Minimizing soil disturbance allows for the rebuilding of soil aggregates, pore spaces, and soil organic matter. No-till and conservation tillage are two systems that limit soil disturbance. These practices reduce erosion. When erosion is reduced, fewer nutrients are lost.

Living Root

Constant plant cover improves water infiltration by creating open root channels, encouraging earthworm activity, and protecting soil surface structure. More infiltration means less water running off the surface, taking nutrients and sediment with it. Cover crop residues also encourage disease suppression.

Social Justice

Regenerative agriculture is not just about rebuilding the soil; it’s about rebuilding the communities that depend on it. At MN350, we support embodied social and environmental justice, food and economic justice, and food sovereignty, with an emphasis on reparation to historically disadvantaged and oppressed communities of color and Indigenous peoples.

Biodiversity

Historically, much of Minnesota was rich prairies, and this diversity nourished the soil biology. Crop rotations mimic this diversity, which improves infiltration and nutrient cycling, while also controlling disease and pests. Similarly, it's vital to fostering diverse soil biota below the surface to aerate the soil and make it more resilient to erosion, drought, and flood. These microbes feed off plant residue and other organic inputs and excrete nutrients in their inorganic form into the soil solution, which can then be taken up by crops.

What We Do:

Our group monitors legislation and news on the local and national scales. Group discussions are facilitated on Consider.It. We also develop outreach plans and community engagement opportunities. For example, pictured on the right are some team members volunteering at Twin Cities Vegfest in Harriet Island Regional Park. We partnered with the Plant Rich Diets working group to foster conversion about how our food is produced and its impact on the environment. Some of our team members developed this brochure (Regen Ag VegFest Flyer Final) to hand out to fest-goers. Currently, the group is developing a communications plan to promote different sustainable agricultural practices to consumers. Is this something you are interested in? Help us advance the regenerative agriculture movement to ensure nutrient-rich foods and a healthy future!

Become a Volunteer:

Our Regenerative Agriculture group works to transition to a regenerative agricultural system that supports healthy soil and land, draws atmospheric carbon into the ground, reduces water use, and values the health of our communities as well as the health of our ecosystems. That means working in a coalition with organizations here in Minnesota to support emerging and existing regenerative farmers; putting pressure on lawmakers to create and enforce policies that support regenerative agriculture, and finding ways to connect both established and emerging farmers to the resources they need to “go regenerative.” Our team meets every two weeks online, and you can get the invite by contacting Mary Clare McAleer at mcaleer@MN350.org.

Learn More

Can Regenerative Agriculture Reverse Climate Change?

 

 

Check out our Buyer’s Guide to learn where you can find regeneratively grown products.