MEASURING THE FINANCIAL IMPACTS
OF REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE
ON NATIVE FARMS AND RANCHES
Many Native producers use regenerative agriculture practices that originated in their communities to grow crops and raise livestock. This holistic approach both revitalizes land and supports producers’ long-term profitability and risk reduction.
While regenerative practices have long been a feature of Native farms and ranches, their financial value to the producer has not been fully documented.
To better understand the full impact regenerative agriculture provides to Native producers, IAC is partnering with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and our members to measure the soil health, livestock health and financial impacts of regenerative agriculture on Native farms and ranches in the Plains region.
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
This project will take place over three years (2022-2024), during which IAC and EDF aim to answer the following questions:
What is the financial value generated by Native producers implementing regenerative agriculture at the farm, land and community levels?
What are the financing needs of Native producers as they transition to regenerative agriculture?
What are the soil health and livestock health benefits generated by regenerative agriculture?
Use project insights to inform future IAC initiatives that can help Native producers learn about and adopt regenerative practices across Indian Country.
Leverage data to support new and existing credit offerings to Native producers that integrate their full value, including environmental benefits.
WHO IS INVOLVED
Participating producers are implementing regenerative agriculture practices that will be evaluated environmentally and financially during the project. The producers will engage directly with project partners to gather environmental and financial data on their practices.
IAC Technical Assistance Team
IAC Technical Assistance staff will help producers gather soil, plant and livestock health data using test kits.
Minnesota Farm Business Management
Minnesota State’s Farm Business Management (FBM) program is a state college- and university-run program that provides agriculture producers with financial education, recordkeeping and analysis support. FBM instructors will work with producers on financial recordkeeping, analysis and benchmarking.
IAC & Environmental Defense Fund
IAC and EDF staff will develop annual reports to share insights from the past years’ financial, soil, plant and livestock data to help producers understand the farm/ranch impacts of their various regenerative practices and help inform decision-making. They will also present the results to Native producers at events throughout the duration of the project.
“If we want things to stay good and stay nice for the younger people – and ourselves – then we need to be a little bit more conscious and be willing to try new things. Sometimes, those new things work better than the way they have been done for 40 years – not only for the Earth and for ourselves, but financially. That’s why [these types of projects] are important – to give people a new train of thought; to open up different parts of the brain that go, ‘Hmmm, maybe that would work.’”
Brewer Ranch, South Dakota
“We will never own the land – the land belongs to the tribe or individual land owners. It’s held in trust, so regenerative agriculture, to me, is following practices that add back to the land and improve it.”
Rose Ranch, South Dakota
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
If you or someone you know is a Native farmer or rancher practicing regenerative agriculture, consider joining this project to gain valuable insights about how resilient agriculture impacts your farm’s or ranch’s finances.
Gain insights that will help boost the long-term financial health of your farm or ranch
Access valuable learning opportunities with agriculture professionals and advisers
Receive a $4,000/year stipend
Get personalized financial enterprise analyses and profitability insights
Conduct free soil and livestock health tests
Be a member of a United States Federally Recognized Tribe.
Be located in the Great Plains region, including: South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Idaho
Have strong recordkeeping practices.
Grow grain (corn, soybean, wheat), hay and/or raise livestock (beef cattle, bison).
Be willing to share agronomic practices and enterprise-level financial information with an instructor from a Land Grant University’s Farm Business Management program.*
Be willing to share farm information in public education materials, including reports, webinars and videos.*
*All data will be protected and participants can choose to remain anonymous in public documents.