Last week, Matthew Lawson, Amy Harper, David Diamond and Glenn Gall attended the Eco-Ag Conference in Louisville, KY. The conference is organized by Acres U.S.A., a publisher and event organizer focused on regenerative agriculture. Our team was inspired by the presentations we saw and the wonderful peers we met. Some highlights included a panel on soil health and human nutrition with Gabe Brown, Charles Massy and Fred Provenza—now we know why that incredible-tasting food fresh from the farm is so much better for you than what you get in most grocery stores! We learned about the purpose of weeds from Vail Dixon, and how farmers can use them to build soil. Joel Salatin’s keynote convincingly demonstrated that regenerative agriculture can feed the world far more efficiently and healthily than the current industrial system. Eliot Coleman inspired us by telling the amazing story of how his family carved a beautiful organic farm out of rocky land on the Maine coastline.
Dr. Nasha Winters helped us see the importance of circadian rhythms to our health, and Dan Kittredge illuminated the fundamentals of a farm’s biological system. Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin shared his vision and early steps towards building a national regenerative agriculture industry. All the presenters were very kind and generous with their time when we introduced ourselves. Along the way, we greatly enjoyed visiting with our friends at OEFFA and meeting new friends like the composters at Rust Belt Riders in Cleveland and the school garden builders at Big Green. After three incredibly full and uplifting days, we returned to Yellow Springs and resumed our work at Agraria. We have since met with our renting farmers and laid the groundwork for an amazing year of growth and education. In every area, the Acres Eco-Ag conference boosted our efforts to explore and demonstrate the benefits of regenerative practice.