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Why Regenerative Ag Part 2

January 9, 2023

Happy New Year! It seems the older I get the faster the years go by...

Many of us who consider ourselves Regenerative Farmers will say that Regenerative is beyond Organic! Meaning, our farming methods consider the WHOLE of nature and the natural processes. As you read last week about the 6 Principles of Soil Health * 3 Rules of Adaptive Stewardship * 4 Ecosystem Processes used by Regenerative Farmers is about observing the Ecosystem and using the Principles and Rules to enhance our natural Ecosystem Processes.

Organic has become a list of standards set by the USDA regarding approved production methods. The goal is not to enhance natural Ecosystem Processes. And, unfortunately, as more & more process food companies buy up once organic farms (companies) and petition the USDA to adjust organic standards to meet production efficiency (cost) it will only get worse. 

Ronnie Cummins with the Organic Consumers Association recently wrote a post titled "Is This The End Of Credibility for the "USDA Organic" Label? His article was about hydroponic operations being certified organic after the 9th Circuit Court’s September 2022 ruling, which stated, ‘no part of the statute [the 1990 Organic Foods Production Act] clearly precludes organic certification of crops grown hydroponically,’ mean the end of organic farming, as we know it?

Cornucopia Institute is dedicated to radical transparency in the food system. You should know who owns your favorite organic products. That's why, with the help of food systems expert Dr. Phil Howard, They have updated and improved their Who Owns Organic? graphic

I believe at one time organic was a very good method for food production. However, as more and more large companies buy up small organic brands and leverage the USDA to change the methods to meet their profit objectives has lessened the positive impact for organic growers and consumers alike.

So, "Why is the current industrial agriculture system broke and what makes Regenerative Farming better?"

Industrial agriculture is a Complicated System based on reductionist science. In this complicated system there is a lot going on to make it work and if a part quits then it does not work anymore. Reductionist science works great on very linear, complicated systems. A factory like Tyson is very linear and lends itself to scale which leads to efficiency. That is the model applied to agriculture today - to make food as cheap as possible. Remember the Spring of 2020 when plants were shut down. Very soon thereafter grocery store shelves were emptied and there was no restock. However, small farms like NGF keep working, meeting our customer's needs.

A Regenerative Farm is a Complex Living System. There is a lot going on to make it work, but if one component quits or hiccups the system may stumble, but it continues working. Complex Living Systems do not lend themselves to reduction science. When you try to apply reduction science to complex systems you get unintended consequences. Nature is a cycical Complex Living System and does not work with reduction science.

Your body is a complex living system. I could make the argument that our current health care systems are broke because of very specialized medicines vs. consideration for the whole body. 

Industrial farming does not follow the 6 Principles of Soil Health. For example - Minimize Disturbance. Most industrial farmers use heavy tillage to turn the dirt following harvest thus exposing the dirt to rain and wind erosion. Here is a picture to help illustrate my point

This man is standing along a creek. The clear water behind him is coming from about 2,000 acres of Regenerative Farmed land (White Oak Pastures). The muddy water is coming into the creek from across the road (not visible) from a heavily plowed corn field. No doubt after years of heavy tillage followed by heavy rains all the top soil and nutrients are washed away - including NPK fertilizer applied to grow the corn. This dirt is dead - meaning it has no aggregates where water, air, and soil biology can live.

This picture was taken on my farm the morning of Jan 4th 2023 following the heavy rains from Jan 3rd. This branch drains about 200 acres from my farm as well as neighboring land owners property that is NOT farmed. It compares in clarity with the rain water from White Oak Pastures in the above picture.

My aha moment came at a GrassFed Exchange Conference in Bismark, ND. Then again in Perry, GA where Ray Archuletta used a Rainfall Simulator to demonstrate the importance to Minimize Disturbance and the negative effects of heavy tillage on our Water Ecosystem Process. 


Click on the picture to see the demonstration that starts at 15:00 and ends at 23:00 when Doug flips the pan of dirt!

I can go on and on, but I'm sure you get the picture how Industrial agriculture breaks the natural ecosystem process by ignoring and destroying the cycles of nature.

Regenerative Farmers seek to RESTORE the natural Four Ecosystem Processes by utilizing the 6 Principles of Soil Health and 3 Rules. Thus enjoying the abundance of nature.

I hope these articles help clarify why Regenerative Farming is so important and the critical role consumers can make in restoring our planet's natural ecosystems.

As a reminder, we have an Old Fashioned Steak Sale through the month of January - straight from our Regenerative Farm. 

There are FIVE steaks in this sale. All of our beef is Grass-Fed AND Finished (never any grain), free of chemicals and hormones...

1) Boneless Ribeye - sale price $15.30. Compare to Corner Market conventional beef at $17.99

2) NY Strip - sale price $13.30. Compare to Corner Market conventional beef at $15.99

3) Sirloin - sale price $8.80. Compare to Corner Market conventional beef at 11.99

4) Bone-In Ribeye - sale price $12.80. Save $1.45/lb.

5) T-Bone - sale price $12.35. Save $1.40/lb.

To receive the sale price you must order and take delivery BEFORE January 31st, 2023. Order early before the supply is sold out.

As we continue this series look for other examples from 6*3*4 in upcoming newsletters.

** Product Availability Update **

Chicken -Restocked Wednesday, December 28th. Next harvest date is February 14th with restock the following day

Eggs - Eggs are still tight. New hens arrived September 16th. Still very slow getting started...


Beef - Restocked December 23rd early afternoon. Next harvest is January 3rd with restock about January 24th


Pork - Restocked Dec 12th

Lamb - Last harvest date was MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14th. Restocked Friday Nov 25th.

Ben Simmons

Old Fashioned STEAK SALE And Regen Ag Part 1

Dec 31st, 2022

Why Regenerative Farming - Introduction

Dec 26th, 2022

Schedules, Times, & A New Video

Dec 14th, 2022