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Regen ag leader hopeful farm bill brings more incentives

A sustainable ag professor says he expects the next farm bill to encourage farmers and ranchers to adopt some regenerative agricultural concepts.

Michigan State University Center for Regenerative Agriculture Co-Director Jason Roundtree tells Brownfield no-till and cover crops are conservation practices that come with incentives.

“We’ve got to see our farmers paid and our ranchers paid for these types of things,” he says. “We followed guidelines for best management practices for risk management, insurance and other things, and ultimately if we want to see shifts in how we farm, I think these shifts need to be monetized.”

He says regenerative agriculture is more about principles rather than a specific action or output.

“Those principles are rooted in soil health and minimizing the disruption in our landscapes, keeping our ground covered as much as possible, improving living roots throughout the year, promoting biodiversity, grazing and cropping systems and settings, if possible,” he explains.

Roundtree says he’s excited to see how the next farm bill incorporates new ways to compensate farmers for their efforts.

“I’m hopeful to see where we’re headed with regenerative agriculture, getting farmers more aptly paid for what’s happening and then providing, security and resilience in that system as well,” he says.

Roundtree is currently leading a multistate $19 million grazing and soil health research project focusing on how to measure environmental outcomes on U.S. ranches.

AUDIO: Jason Roundtree, Michigan State University Center for Regenerative Agriculture

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