In any industry, community is something that is very important to cultivate. As a farmer or rancher, what does your community look like? What is your support network? The soil health community is growing quickly, and is beginning to gain momentum. The BIG Soil Health Event was held on Monday and Tuesday this past week, and the enthusiasm and energy behind regenerative agriculture was truly a sight to see. We had close to 400 people show up to hear about regenerative agriculture, carbon markets, and Haney testing, all while building community around these topics.
Why is this community so important? Think about agriculture in the area that you’re from. Ideas and practices are spread around at the coffee shops, local elevators, local feed stores, and at co-ops. How do you know when to start planting? Well, if your neighbor started, you better get your tractor fired up and get out there. What about machinery? Do you ever find yourself making decisions on purchasing machinery by what your neighbors are doing? Perhaps a certain planter has a really good emergence, or a combine does a really nice job, or a no-till drill gets great seed to soil contact. The point is, there are tons of decisions and ideas that farmers spread, through direct communication or observance, in their communities.
What if you have some ideas that might seem different to your local community? What if you want to try some outlandish things that may lead people to view you as the oddball of the farmers around you? Rick Clark likes to share with people that when he walks into the local coffee shop, it gets silent. He’s doing all regenerative, soil health focused practices on his farm. Since he’s doing something different than the norm, he’s seen as the oddball in his local community. But when he goes into a room full of soil health minded folks, he’s a celebrity! Everyone wants to talk to him, pick his brain, and see what he’s got going on with his operation.
One of the main goals of The BIG Soil Health Event is to cultivate that community, and to allow people to ask the questions that they may not have the resources to ask in their local communities. We heard from the top names in regenerative agriculture. David Brandt, the “grandfather” of health spoke, along with Jerry Hatfield, Mitchell Hora, Rick Clark, and Russell Hedrick. These are all people who have seen the real benefits from implementing regenerative practices. They have the first-hand knowledge of what works and what doesn’t work, and they are there to educate and answer all of the questions you might have about starting this on your farm. It’s a big change, and can be a daunting task to undertake, but your community for soil health is here with amazing, knowledgeable, helpful people who want to see you succeed.
It was truly incredible to see the interest and passion around soil health. This is a movement in agriculture that is growing, and we are going to see it grow more and more as farmers who come to events like the BIG Soil Health Event bring these ideas back home and begin to create this community locally. There’s a long road ahead of us, but as we begin to show people that they will be more profitable, more resilient, and happier when they implement regenerative agriculture on their farm, we will gain more traction and get this message spread throughout the country.
Are you ready to join this movement? Do you want to be more profitable, more resilient, and happier? Call us today, and we can help you get connected with a large community of regenerative farmers and start your soil health journey.
Sales Agronomist // Continuum Ag