March 2022 - News from the Wild Side
Spring Forward: Take Action and Get Involved with Wild Farm Alliance
As the days get longer and we inch closer to summer, there are more opportunities to be involved with Wild Farm Alliance and our work to reconnect food systems with ecosystems.
This newsletter outlines two ways you can join the movement to bring nature back to our farms and ranches.
1. We need you to speak up to help protect our Native Ecosystems by eliminating the incentive to destroy them for organic certification. By writing just a few sentences, you can help us make this a priority for the National Organic Program.
2. Sign up for our online virtual course about the role of birds on farms. The second session is coming up on Wednesday March 30th and will cover what kinds of pests birds eat and how many.
We are excited to share an article about a new book discussing how regenerative agriculture practices are deeply embedded in cultural practices, many of which are from communities of color. We are also happy to share an article highlighting the historical context of hedgerows in Britain and how the function of these corridors have evolved to be critical for wildlife.
Finally, we are inspired by the recent recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant who is empowering farmers across the cornbelt to plant permanent habitat on cropland edges to improve soil health and water quality, and to mitigate climate change.
We hope these stories will inspire you to take action and get involved!
In 2018, we and our partners successfully encouraged the NOSB to recommend a new rule to protect climate friendly Native Ecosystems from the organic plow, but the National Organic Program has failed to implement the rule. The USDA is now accepting public comments on how to prioritize their long list of recommended rules waiting to be implemented. This is our chance to put protecting native ecosystems at the top of their list. Take Action!
Register for Lesson 2: Online Course for Ag Professionals and Farmers about the Role of Birds on the Farm
Earlier this month, WFA launched a new online course that teaches agricultural professionals and farmers how to support beneficial birds and manage pest birds on farms. The second course is coming up on March 30th and will feature Dr. Elissa Olimpi of Virginia Tech and Jo Ann Baumgartner of WFA discussing the types and quantity of pests that birds eat. Learn More and Register
And if you missed the first session, you can watch the recording on our resource page.
Author: Liz Carlisle
As we confront the grim realities of climate change, regenerative agriculture has arisen as a promising solution. In Healing Grounds: Climate, Justice, and the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming, a new book published [recently], Liz Carlisle shows that carbon can actually be stored in the soil if we adopt ancestral land management strategies, many of which are held by communities of color. The cultures that Carlisle writes about in this book—Indigenous, Black, Latino, Hmong—are still connected to their deep farming histories and they’re using unique regenerative practices that not only enrich the soil but banish pests, reduce erosion, and increase yields. Carlisle believes contemporary farmers from all backgrounds have a lot to learn from these traditions. Read More
Written by Katarina Zimmer, 11/9/2021, Published in Knowable Magazine
Hedgerows are as British as fish and chips. Without these walls of woody plants cross-stitching the countryside into a harmonious quilt of pastures and crop fields, the landscape wouldn’t be the same. Over the centuries, numerous hedges were planted to keep in grazing livestock, and some of today’s are as historic as many old churches, dating back as far as 800 years. Today, Britain boasts about 700,000 kilometers (435,000 miles) of them, a length that surpasses that of its roads. Read More
Written by Nathan Beacom, 11/22/21, Published in CivilEats
Ecologist Lisa Schulte Moore is changing the agricultural landscape one prairie strip at a time. These swathes of native prairie strategically planted on farmland as contour buffers or edge-of-field filters are an ecological wonder. Not only do they help control erosion and mitigate climate change, but they also improve soil health, water quality, and biodiversity. And few have done more to promote their use than Schulte Moore, who has worked across communities and disciplines to bring the benefits of prairie strips to the Corn Belt and beyond. Read More