If you’ve been reading On Pasture for any amount of time, you’ve probably noticed an emphasis on principles. Why? Principles give us a foundation to start from – a way of thinking about what’s going on around us so that we can make decisions that work for our individual goals and our different environments. And as Harrington Emerson notes, methods based on principles leads to success.
With that in mind, I’m interested in outlining the principles that guide regenerative agriculture as a basis for folks heading down this path. So, let’s look at some examples of what regenerative principles might be.
Jeff Goodwin of the Noble Research Institute lists soil health as the cornerstone of regenerative agriculture. He defines soil health as “the continued capacity of the soil to function as a vital, living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals and humans.” I like that. And it’s something Hugh Hammond Bennett, the father of the 1930s soil conservation movement, would agree with too.
Others are on the same page. General Mills just announced its drive to advance regenerative agriculture on 1 million acres by 2030. And they’re focusing on soil health as well. In fact, they list the six principles of soil health as the basis for all their work.
Then to determine success, they’re measuring changes to five key goals: Economic resiliency in farming communities, healthy soil, clean water, biodiversity, and cow and herd well-being. These goals represent what is valuable to General Mills.
Those are some examples of regenerative principles. What are the principles you think of? What are your goals and values? Share your thoughts here! By developing and understanding some core principles, we can all be more successful.
Thanks for reading!