The dollars and sense of regenerative ag

February 4, 2024 | by magnews24.com

Farmers have heard the hype. So called “regenerative agriculture” can boost yields, reduce inputs and erosion, and reverse the impacts of climate variability. It sounds great, but… what about financial sustainability? What does it cost to farm differently? What supports are in place to help with the transition to regenerative practices? And how would you know if it was making a difference? Several of Nebraska’s Natural Resources districts have joined together to provide a free regenerative agriculture conference for area producers and crop consultants, with a focus on the financial implications of management changes, to answer these questions and more.  The conference will be held on Feb. 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Cattle Conference Room of the Janzow Center on the campus of Concordia University in Seward. The conference is free and open to the public. However, registration is required by Feb. 14. To register, please visit upperbigblue.org/regenerative-ag or call (402) 362-6601.  The conference will feature keynote speaker Mitchell Hora, founder and CEO of Continuum Ag. Hora will discuss the benefits of regenerative agriculture and how to implement these practices on Nebraska farms. He will also share his insights on how to make regenerative agriculture profitable.  Hora is a seventh-generation farmer in Washington County, Iowa, with a background in agronomy consulting. He is a graduate of Iowa State University, with degrees in agronomy and ag systems technology. Continuum Ag serves to quantify and improve soil health through work with farmers, consultants and agribusinesses. Continuum is also leading the charge to quantify, document, improve and monetize farmer Carbon Intensity scores. Hora is a regular speaker on regenerative ag topics and was named to a 30 Under 30 list by Forbes Magazine in 2022 for his company’s social impact.  In addition to Hora, the conference will feature Keith Berns, co-owner of Green Cover Seed, who will speak about the benefits of cover crops and the importance of soil health. A local producer panel will present a farm-level view of what’s working in central Nebraska when it comes to regenerative agriculture practices.  During breaks and lunch, attendees will have time to visit vendor booths provided by sponsoring agencies, to learn more about products and services available to boost regenerative on-farm practices. Sponsors for this event include: Gold Sponsors ($500+) Green Cover Seed, Central Valley Ag, Center for Rural Affairs, The Nature Conservancy, Klein Sales and Service, RLO Solutions, Practical Farmers of Iowa, EarthScout, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, Dan Gillespie Soil Health Fund, Sandhills Global, NRCS-Nebraska; and Silver sponsors ($250-$499) Lincoln Premium Poultry and Stock Seed Farms.  The day will conclude with a viewing of the short film To Which We Belong and a group discussion moderated by Keith Berns, who is featured in the film.  This event is co-hosted by the Upper Big Blue, Little Blue, Lower Big Blue, and Lower Platte South Natural Resources Districts. Details for the regenerative agriculture conference are on the NRDs websites.

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