UNDERSTANDING REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE
ON NATIVE FARMS & RANCHES
What regenerative agriculture approaches are Native farmers and ranchers implementing on Native lands? What do producers hope to achieve with these practices? What are some of the benefits that come with a regenerative approach?
These are just a few of the questions IAC set out to answer through a series of interviews with our staff and several producer members. Explore this page to discover what they had to say.
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWS
In 2022, IAC and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) interviewed 10 IAC staff members and three Native producers who have obtained IAC’s rege[n]ation seal. Our goal was to better understand the role of regenerative agriculture approaches in Native agriculture, including:
Perceptions about and objectives for using regenerative agriculture approaches
Regenerative agriculture practices currently in use across the country
Financial barriers Native producers face when attempting to incorporate regenerative ag practices
These interviews were conducted as part of IAC’s and EDF’s project, “Financial impacts of regenerative agriculture on Native farms and ranches.”
What is regenerative agriculture?
Native producers and IAC technical assistance staff described regenerative agriculture as:
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.
It is a mindset that, in many cases, is already inherent in tribal producers. However, various circumstances and barriers hinder the full success of putting these systems into practice. This is why IAC started promoting a full circle regenerative economy where Native producers and businesses are given access to the tools and knowledge they need, provided a financing structure that supports their efforts and endeavors, and market opportunities that can generate long-term profits.
Interviewees described a wide range of practices that can contribute to regenerative agriculture approaches in different regional and production contexts. They shared that regenerative agriculture practices are extremely dependent on the microclimates and the natural systems present on individual farms and ranches.
Find Technical Assistance and Support
The IAC technical assistants that were interviewed for this project expressed a deep desire to help producers in their region adopt regenerative practices. When getting started, please make sure to connect with your region’s IAC Technical Assistant for support.