"Old is new again: Regenerative farming practices reemerges" - Good Roots

21 Jun 2023 in

Regenerative agriculture is not something new. It’s a centuries-old philosophy used by indigenous communities to work with the land, not against it. It’s now re-emerging as a way to improve the health of our planet, utilizing practices that restore the soil’s organic matter and promote its biodiversity. 

This holistic method is not just about producing food sustainably, it’s about helping ecosystems thrive, creating resilient farms and mitigating climate change by drawing carbon back into the earth. 

Donna Kilpatrick, director of regeneration at Heifer U.S.A, is leading the charge for regenerative farming practices here in Arkansas. She and her team are passionate advocates for regenerative agriculture and are finding solutions to increase soil health and encourage biological diversity. All without the use of chemicals and pesticides.

Lady sitting with a dog on her lap 
Kilpatrick showcases the power of regenerative farming at the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas. The ranch is an educational farm, offering workshops and immersive programs to inspire people about sustainable agriculture. 

“When we farm with nature, when we’re using our livestock in a way to improve the land, it’s not only good for the livestock, good for the land, but it’s a pretty awesome way to make a living,” Kilpatrick said. 

Kilpatrick’s team and the Ranch’s educational programs embody Heifer International’s larger mission: to end poverty and hunger sustainably. 

close up of calf 
She believes the work at Heifer Ranch is instrumental in raising awareness about the ecological and social impacts of our food choices.

In an era of climate change and environmental instability, what Heifer, Kilpatrick and her team are doing is critical. Their tireless efforts and trials in regenerative agriculture show that farming can be a solution, not a problem, to many of our environmental challenges. By nurturing our soils and ecosystems, we not only produce healthier food but also cultivate a healthier planet. Regenerative farming is not just a reemerging agricultural revolution; it’s a shift toward a more sustainable and resilient world. 

Friday, June 23, 2023

"Good Roots" inside "Arkansas Week," 7:30 p.m.

"Good Roots" is produced in partnership with Farm Ranch Stress Grant.

Watch social extras, full episodes and more on YouTube at youtube.com/ArkansasPBS.