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Sustaining Operations with Regenerative Agriculture Projects

How financially sustainable is regenerative agriculture for Native producers? This is the question the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC), Environmental Defence Fund (EDF), and Native producers across Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, and South Dakota seek to answer in the next few years. 

Inherent to many Native producers, regenerative agriculture is a holistic approach to revitalizing land and ecological systems. It focuses on improving soil’s ability to regenerate over time by involving the whole farm ecosystem, including humans and wildlife. Common regenerative practices include efficient nutrient management, rotational grazing, cover crops, reduced tillage, and more.

While the benefits of regenerative practices to the environment are substantial, never before have the financial impacts for Native producers been measured until this project between IAC and EDF. Regenerative Agriculture Projects are crucial for producers, lenders, and other industry stakeholders to recognize the full value and impact of these practices on long-term profitability to support fully incorporating them into operations.

Join us in creating more sustainable operations for Native producers and tribes. Make your year-end gift to IAC today to become a part of this effort to facilitate informed decisions for producers that foster long-term profitability.

Since 2022, Thad Rose (Cheyenne River Sioux) and 12 other Native producers have been involved in quantifying the financial impacts of regenerative agriculture practices on grazing lands throughout Indian Country. Thad and his family are young producers who raise beef cattle on 3,000 acres on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation. 

“To me, regenerative agriculture is following practices that add back to the land and improve it,” states Thad. He has implemented bale grazing, low stocking rates, livestock-sensitive crossing fencing, and soil and forage sampling with the goal of operating sustainably while improving the land for the next generation. Through this effort, Thad will be able to identify which practices generate financial health for his operation. 

With the identification of associated costs and financial sustainability of regenerative practices, Native producers are enabled to make decisions that improve their operation’s land stewardship and overall success. Empowering Native producers, like Thad, with land-based agricultural resources is vital to the economic and social welfare of their operations in addition to their Tribal communities.

During the upcoming year, the Intertribal Agriculture Council will continue to assess the financial impacts of implementing conservation practices. Every contribution sustains IAC programming, like the Regenerative Agriculture Projects, offered to build economic development and enrich the cultural connection of American Indian and Alaska Native peoples.


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