Four generations of Minnesotans show how to succeed at regenerative cattle ranching

The Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed 100% Grass Fed Beef brand is launched its Be the Re-Generation™ campaign during Earth Week 2019, encouraging everyone to support regenerative agriculture practices with their food choices, to solve today’s biggest food and environmental challenges.

For Thousand Hills, regenerative agriculture is a broad set of holistic land management and grazing practices that build soil health, reduce erosion and runoff, increase biodiversity, maximize photosynthesis, sequester carbon, re-establish diverse grasslands, benefit pollinators and wildlife, eliminates dependence on chemical herbicides and synthetic fertilizers, improves nutrient density in meat, while benefiting rural economies.

In this way, their practice is closer to holistic earlier definitions, such as described in Storm Cunningham‘s 2002 book, The Restoration Economy.

This is as opposed to the current wave of regenerative agriculture programs, which tend to focus almost exclusively on either soil health or carbon sequestration. Both of those are core attributes of regeneration farming and ranching, of course, but the restoration of native pollinators, biodiversity and watersheds too often gets lost.

Matt Maier, Chief Regenerative Renegade/Owner of Thousand Hills, says “It is very important to me that my local community farm is leading the way in regenerative agriculture and part of the solution to today’s most pressing environmental issues.

I grew up on this farm less than a mile from the Mississippi River, with a tributary running right through our grazed land, converted from tilled, monoculture crops. We feel an obligation to our future generations to improve our food system and waterways while reducing dependence on harmful pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. We source from 50 family farms in the Northeast, Midwest and West regions in the U.S.; all with the same passion for regenerative agriculture,” he concluded.

Thousand Hills’ regenerative grazing practices are now 3rd-party certified by the American Grassfed Association (AGA).

Carrie Balkcom, Executive Director of AGA, said “Thousand Hills is on the leading edge of change for improving our food system. We are proud to certify Thousand Hills in our roster of U.S. producers committed to regenerating our land and rural economies.

Featured photo (courtesy of Thousand Hills) shows four generations of Maier’s on their family farm in Clearwater, Minnesota.

Purchase Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed 100% Grass Fed Beef products online here.

See Thousand Hills website.

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