Regenerative agriculture is an approach to farming and ranching that rebuilds and enhances soil, water, biodiversity, and climate resilience by mimicking and amplifying the earth’s own natural capacity to manage and rehabilitate the land.
Conventional agricultural and livestock management practices bear great responsibility for degrading land and drastically limiting its capacity to absorb carbon and to filter and absorb water. By restoring soil organic matter and capturing carbon in soil, regenerative agricultural practices substantially increase the land’s ability to absorb and retain water, ultimately reducing flooding and soil loss; mitigating drought; improving air, water, and soil quality; and offering increased yields at lower cost.
One area of regenerative agriculture is holistic planned grazing, a practice that positions livestock as a critical land management tool for reversing desertification. Planning holistically involves keen observation of the processes that nature does automatically and continually. Using a holistic land management plan enables the planner to incorporate natural processes to restore and reinvigorate ecosystems. For example, while consuming vegetation, grazing livestock, like their grazing animal ancestors, fertilize with their manure and till with their hooves. By managing the land with a continuously adjusting plan for grazing and recovery period, the ecology quickly improves. This allows for more plant diversity, creating habitat for a larger community of wildlife, including birds, insects, mammals, reptiles, and soil life. Ultimately, these practices result in land that provides more food for more grazing livestock after each rest period.