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KEY ACTIVITIES

Promote RA policies at the state and federal level:

  • Reach out to State and Federal Representatives to stress the importance of RA practices
  • Join coalitions working to encourage the Ag Committee to include support for RA practices in the Farm Bill.
  • Promote bills supporting  RA practices including, but not limited to, the following:
    • No tillage
    • No chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides
    • No GMO food products
    • Annual soil quality enhancement tests
    • Annual Crop Rotation
    • Polyculture (plant diversity)
    • Cover Crops
  • Educate the public on the importance of RA practices for all.
    • Presentations
    • Tabling Events (farmers markets, garden fairs)
    • School Curriculum materials

Download RA Information Sheet (see images below)

OBJECTIVE

To advocate and facilitate the transition of farming practices to regenerative agriculture to benefit both the environment and farmers, while restoring soil health and increasing nutrient density. To educate the public of the practices and benefits of implementing RA practices and how the can do this at home on a smaller scale. To petition members of the Agriculture Committee to include RA practices and support for them in the 2023 Farm Bill.

TEAM LEAD

Don Viecelli
»
Email Don

Please note, continuing members will be asked to join our chapter.

MEETINGS

Monthly on 1st Tuesdays, 6:30–7:30pm

(Check our calendar for more details.)

MISSION / VISION

MISSION:

Our mission is to advocate and facilitate the benefits of Regenerative Agriculture (RA), Silvopasture and Agroforestry practices to farmers, ranchers, and other landowners to increase profitability, improve soil healthand food nutrient density, and combat climate change effects.

VISION:

To restore soil health as nature intended and increase the potential of regenerative agriculture to serve as a carbon sink.

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(If you’re a chapter member and still need access, click through to request to be added.)

Regenerative Agriculture Definition

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Regenerative Agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that increases biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds, and enhances the entire ecosystem of the farm. Through carbon sequestration, it captures carbon in the soil by pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere to reverse the damages caused by climate change. It offers increased yields, resilience to climate instability, improved health and vitality for farming communities.

For more, see NRDC’s Regenerative Agriculture 101.

Regenerative Agriculture News

RA Group Meets With Dr. Elaine Ingham and Kim Martin of Soil Food Web to Discuss 2023 Farm Bill

On Mon., Jan. 10, 2022, the RA Team met with Elaine Ingham and Kim Martin of Soil Food Web. In our efforts to get assistance for farmers to transition to regenerative agriculture, we’re focusing on introducing components to the 2023 Farm Bill. We’re seeking advice from Dr. Ingham to help shape our policy suggestions. Dr. Elaine Ingham is a renown soil scientist working at the University of Illinois Ag Extension who has also founded the Soil Food Web, providing knowledge and instruction in regenerative agriculture to farmers all over the world. Kim Martin, a leader at Soil Food Web and a retired farmer, was able to provide information from her experiences in the  transition to RA practices. We are thankful for their assistance in helping us understand RA from a soil science perspective and in developing a policy framework.

The Green Garden Fair in Elmurst

Patty Iverson and Trinity Pierce of Morton Arboretum tabled together at the Elmhurst Green Garden Fair on May 7. Enthusiastic fair-goers asked so many good questions regarding implementation of regnerative agriculture at home and what types of trees would be best for their property. Presenters discussed how to Start In Your Yard with tips from Doug Tallamy’s book Nature’s Best Hope, sold raw local honey and vegan baked goods, gifted locally produced organic compost, and distributed native and organic plants that had been purchased.sold organically-grown vegetables, herb, and flower seedlings. The Citizens Climate Lobby had information regarding carbon taxing. 

Regenerative Agriculture and Electrification at Oak Park Farmers Market

On Saturday, May 21 and May 28, Patty Iverson, Scott Reed, and Jelena Collins tabled at the Oak Park Farmers Market on Regenerative Agriculture, Electrication, Recycling, and Communmity Solar. It was really inspiring to be surrounded by so many farmers, like Chad Nichols and Bob Ellis who have already implemented several regenerative agriculture practices.  We were visited by many Oak Park residents who were very knowledgeable about climate change and were encouraged to hear practices they could use and greener items they could substitute at home to use less energy and materials, help to sequester carbon, and to lead healthier lives.

Elmhurst Farmers’ Market

Patty Iverson was joined by Leah Sorini and Mary Rice at a table where we presented on Regenerative Agriculture at the Elmhurst Farmers’ Market on Wednesday, June 1 and June 15. Visitors were happy to hear about ways to go regenerative and to take home butterfly weed seeds.  We were inspired by the hard work farmers need to do to prepare for and drive to the markets long before the sun comes up. 

Elmhurst Cool Cities Plants Demonstration Native Garden

On Saturday, June 25, Regenerative Agriculture Team member Patty Iverson joined volunteers from Elmhurst Cool Cities to collaborate with the Elmhurst Park District in planting a demonstration native garden adjacent to the Conservatory at Wilder Park.  Michelle Karabetsos, Assistant Horticulturist, selected and designed the layout of the gardens of which volunteers from Elmhurst Cool Cities  assisting in the planting. Michelle answered all of the questions regarding planting natives at home and the volunteers brought a lot of experience transforming their own gardens to natvie perennial species. “Native plants are great for nature and for gardeners. They provide food for pollinators and habitat for wildlife, while also needing less water and maintenance to thrive.”

Elmhurst Garden Walk & Fair

Scott Reed and Patty Iverson met enthusiastic environmentalists on Sunday, 7/10 at the Elmhurst Garden Walk & Fair that was hosted by the Elmhurst Garden Club. Nonstop visitors to the booth were expanding and sharing their knowlege of Regenerative Agriculture in practices implemented on farms and in yards. Many told of how they were currently or had already transformed their yards into native habitats. Quite a few also had vegetable gardens to reduce their carbon footprint and grow more nutrient-dense produce. All were invigorated to hear of the wonderful solution RA WILL be for climate change and were excited to hear their native gardens were sequesstering carbon. All were delighted to receive  affirmation of their efforts to nurture and protect the environment.

RA Team Works With Coalition to Prepare to Lobby for the 2023 Farm Bill

By Pam Tate

The Regenerative Agriculture (RA) Team has been working for over a year on honing our policy ideas and recommendations for the reauthorization of the Farm Bill, which will come up in 2023 in Congress.  We already have a draft of a policy documentthat we have shared with people in our chapter and beyond, and are hoping to attract more of our members to the cause.

One of the reasons we believe that RA is so important to the climate crisis is that soil and trees are significant carbon “sinks”; that is, they absorb carbon from the atmosphere, use it for photosynthesis, and store it, as long as we don’t cut down the trees or plow up the soil.  In order to reach zero emissions on our planet, we will need both the reduction of emissions and the increase in carbon
drawdown—neither of the solutions will be totally effective on its own.

Currently, the RA team is reaching out to other Climate Reality Chapters around the country to form a Climate Reality lobbying effort for getting more incentives, subsidies and actual dollars for RA into the 2023Farm Bill.  We are  also reviewing the policy change recommendations from other organizations such as 350.org, Regenerate America, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the American Farmland Trust and the National Family Farm Coalition so that we can come forward with the most realistic and promising policy recommendations as welaunch the  lobbying effort.  Some of the  policies we are advocating for include:  increasing subsidies and incentives for regenerative farmers; expanding and reforming farm insurance subsidies; establishing soil health testing requirements; and increasing nutrient value in our food supply (which would come from more
healthy soil).  Other policy recommendations are being reviewed and may be added within the next month, with the hope that we can begin our advocacy effort in September after Congress
returns from its August recess.

Resources/Articles on Regenerative Agriculture