No-Till Farmers’ Push for Healthy Soils Ignites a Movement in the Plains

As the world begins to zero in on the need to bring this soil back to life, farmers practicing no-till in the middle of the country could play a key role. As they reshape their operations with a focus on things like earthworms and water filtration, and practice a suite of other approaches that fit loosely under the umbrella of “regenerative agriculture,” these farmers are stepping out of the ag mainstream.

Turning Appalachia’s Mountaintop Coal Mines Into Farms

Refresh Appalachia is a social enterprise that partners with Reclaim Appalachia to convert post-mine lands into productive and profitable agriculture and forestry enterprises that could be scaled up to put significant numbers of people in layoff-riddled Appalachia back to work. When Refresh Appalachia launched in 2015, West Virginia had the lowest workforce participation rate in the nation.

Fire Ecology’s Lessons for a More Resilient Future

There is no silver lining to a fire like those that struck Sonoma and Napa counties in October, or the still-burning Thomas Fire in Southern California. But for people like Willie and Erik Ohlsen, the North Bay fires are a wake-up call, a chance to proactively address the way the plants and animals of Northern California have co-evolved with fire—and to rebuild these communities with fire in mind.

The Year in Food Policy

It was a tumultuous year for food policy in the United States. Here’s a rundown of several of the most important food policy changes that took place in 2017

New Healthy Soil Guide Gives Cooks a Better Recipe for Climate Change

Diana Donlon, director of the Center for Food Safety (CFS)’s Soil Solutions program, spoke with Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz, owners of The Perennial Restaurant in San Francisco. The team is launching a Healthy Soil Guide for chefs and home cooks about they can play in promoting healthy soils and climate solutions.

Can Big Money Fix a Broken Food System?

A growing number of investment companies in this realm are now using capital to help ranchers switch to 100 percent grass-fed beef production, connect small farms to communities with little access to fresh food, and transition farmland used to grow commodity corn and soy to organic, regenerative systems.

“There’s total momentum right now around people rethinking about how their money is being put to work,” says Kate Danaher, the senior manager of social enterprise lending and integrated capital at RSF Social Finance. “Impact investing as a whole is growing very quickly, and my guess is that if you polled everyone interested, the most popular sector is sustainable food and ag.”