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Telling regenerative ag stories

Telling regenerative ag stories

Regeneration Canada’s new campaign provides videos and other resources showcasing farmers and their regenerative ag practices

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

A new national campaign is putting Canadian farmers who implement regenerative agriculture practices in the spotlight.

Regeneration Canada, a non-profit created in 2017 to promote regenerative agriculture and soil health, recently launched its Stories of Regeneration campaign.

“Our mission is to promote and scale out regenerative agriculture across the country,” Antonious Petro, executive director of Regeneration Canada, told Farms.com. “We are the first non-profit in Canada focusing exclusively on regenerative agriculture.”

The organization works with farmers to support transitions to regenerative ag end ensure producers’ financial success. It also works with consumers and other stakeholders on social, environmental and economic issues.

The Stories of Regeneration campaign features a collection of films, podcast conversations, articles and webinars with Canadian farmers and stakeholders that highlight the benefits of regenerative ag.

“Our farmer members wanted us to find a way to bridge the gap between producers and consumers and help increase trust,” Petro said.

In total, the campaign features 10 farms from across the country.

One of those farms belongs to Blake Vince, a fifth-generation farmer who grows corn, soybeans and winter wheat on about 1,200 acres near Merlin, Ont.

His family started implementing a no-till system in the 1980s and are considered pioneers of no-till farming.

He recently re-introduced cattle onto the land to complete the regenerative cycle.

Blake Vince
Blake Vince

“That’s one part that was missing on our farm,” he told Farms.com. “When you don’t have ruminant livestock, immediately plants that come out of the rotation are perennials like alfalfa, deep rooted plants that extract nutrients. When a ruminant animal can graze that vegetation into manure and urine, which is good for subsequent crop production, all while producing beef, it becomes a win-win and the cattle become a key element to the soil ecosystem.”

Regenerative ag has helped Vince reduce costs in multiple areas.

Take fertilizer, for example.

Producing one bushel of corn requires about one pound of nitrogen, Vince says. But he doesn’t need that amount of nitrogen anymore.

“Today, from a nitrogen usage perspective, we have brought it down to about 0.65 units, and still growing very satisfactory crops,” he said. “That’s a hard cost savings, and everything I do on the farm is to increase my financial viability.”

Regeneration Canada contacted Vince to see if he’d be interested in being a part of the Stories of Regeneration campaign.

One of his reasons for getting involved included showing how farmers work to improve society overall.

“Farmers like to talk about how they’re producers of food, but I’m so far removed from a consumer because I produce commodities,” he said. “I produce corn that goes to ethanol, or soybeans that went to biodiesel. We do these things for the collective betterment of society where we all work, live and play.”


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