Nutritional supplement company True Grace has announced a new program in partnership with Rodale Institute to support scientific research on how regenerative organic agriculture impacts nutrient density in crops and contributes to climate mitigation through sequestration of atmospheric CO2 in the soil.
Known as the Vegetable Systems Trial, this study is the first to examine side-by-side how soil health and farm management practices impact the health of humans and the planet.
In addition to the new research, the partnership also provides funding to deliver much needed counsel and support to farmers interested in transitioning their land to organic systems. This financial support from True Grace will help Rodale Institute’s Organic Consulting program to provide 300 hours of strategic consulting services to farmers throughout Wisconsin.
This is enough to begin transitioning approximately 30 farms to a regenerative organic model, which would make the state a leader nationally in the movement. The Organic Consulting program is a national consultancy platform that assists farmers in successfully transitioning to certified organic production. These services include one-on-one, on-farm consultations and education, soil sample analysis, crop rotation planning, weed management guidance, equipment advice, inspection preparation, market / buyer discovery and more, effectively helping farmers meet the growing demand for organic food while earning 3-6 times greater profits from their crops (source: Rodale Institute).
Conventional agricultural practices have degraded soils and accelerated the climate crisis – responsible for approximately 30% of global carbon emissions, 70% of freshwater use, and a reduction of biodiversity by 30%. With only about 60 years of topsoil remaining at current practices according to experts, regenerative organic is a holistic approach to farming that encourages continuous innovation and improvement of environmental, social, and economic measures.
“We believe regenerative practices are the key to a healthy future – not only for the planet and human health, but the livelihoods of American farmers,” said Brian Hall, CEO of True Grace. The regenerative agriculture movement has been gaining steady momentum since it was documented in the 2002 book, The Restoration Economy.
“We’re honored to partner with Rodale Institute as one of the leading institutions advancing the regenerative organic movement. We see a clear connection between the health of our soil, our personal health and the planet, and more research is needed to scientifically validate this. At the same time, there is a significant need for more organic and regenerative ingredients and produce, and farmers urgently need on-the-ground support to begin making a transition. We’re excited to lock hand-in-hand to help them achieve this and together create a more sustainable future for generations to come,” Hall added.
Regenerative organic consulting services through Rodale Institute will be provided by Léa Vereecke, Midwest Organic Consultant for Rodale Institute, based in Madison, Wisconsin. After growing up on a grain farm in Northeastern France, Vereecke earned a M.S. in Agronomy and Agroecology, and served as a research specialist with Dr. Erin Silva at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, overseeing diverse research projects, including cover crop-based reduced tillage systems, organic row crops, small grains, cover crops, industrial hemp, and more.
Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to growing the organic movement through rigorous research, farmer training, and consumer education. Widely considered the global leader in regenerative organic agriculture, Rodale Institute has been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing findings with farmers, scientists, and consumers throughout the world since 1947.
Rodale Institute’s Organic Consulting Services were established in 2019 through funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Rodale Institute’s crop consultants are currently working with more than 200 farmer clients around the U.S. to transition more than 25,000 acres to organic management. They focus on providing individualized advice and one-on-one mentorship for farmers seeking to transition to organic management including certification assistance, equipment, fertility, weed management or crop rotation advice, soil sample analyses and more.