December 17, 2020
Cows grazing among cover crops on the farm of Dylan and Alma Lindeman in South Dakota

Kurt Lawton/USDA NRCS

Regenerative farming is a philosophy based on common principles, not a specific set of practices. These regenerative principles include re-establishing relationships between people and land, building soil health, reducing or eliminating the use of harmful chemicals, growing diverse crops, holistic and humane livestock management, innovative and efficient use of resources, and equitable labor practices.

Regenerative agriculture is not new; Indigenous cultures farmed in harmony with nature centuries ago. Today, regenerative farmers seek to heal the land from degradation and grow healthy food in a way that does not exploit people, animals, and the land

NRDC interviewed farmers and ranchers across the country who are building healthy soil, growing healthy food for their community, and, in the process, fighting climate change, protecting biodiversity, and improving water quality and efficiency. We are using what we learned from farmers and ranchers to create policy solutions for a regenerative food and farm future.

Policy plays an important role in shaping the agricultural landscape. Our current food and farm policies are not designed to prioritize climate, ecosystems, water quality, people’s health, relationships within and across ecosystems, or fair pay and racial equity for farmers and farmworkers. We want to help fix this. NRDC advocates for policies that level an uneven playing field for small farms and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, investing instead in financial and technical resources for regenerative farming and ranching.

We believe that every person has an important part to play in our food system, from producer to consumer. Here, we will share what we’ve learned and what you can do to help support regenerative agriculture, from the purchases you make at the grocery store to advocating for political change.