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Regenerative Agriculture - The Power of Soil

In our 45+ collective years in the restaurant industry we often heard and shared the adage ‘we’re in the people business.’ Sure, we sold food, drinks, and we provided service, but at the end of the day, as a leader and entrepreneur in the restaurant industry, it all came down to the people…the team and the guests. As we shift our focus now to farming and ranching, we’ve come to learn that there is a similar, hidden-in-plain-sight, foundational imperative for long-term success. Sure, we grow crops and raise livestock, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to the soil. We’re in the soil business.

It is said that the future world harvests are numbered due to decades of severe topsoil degradation. And while the varying lifespan predictions for our topsoil remain controversial, it is quite clear that we’ve become very poor stewards of our lands. The centralization and scaling up of agriculture have led to the wide adoption of farming and ranching practices that reduce near-term harvest risks and reduce labor at the expense of the health of our soil and the true quality of our harvests. Agricultural practices such as excessive monocropping, extreme pesticide and herbicide use, excessive use of synthetic fertilizers, over-tillage, low-supervision grazing plans, and over-reliance on pharmaceutical products, have all become the norm at large-scale farms and ranches all over the world. These practices were born of incentive structures that reward quantity over quality, and near-term profitability over longevity, and they are clearly putting our future harvests at risk.

At Waterloo Ranch, we practice regenerative agriculture, a farming and ranching system that puts soil health first. Though the term may be relatively new, regenerative agriculture is truly a back-to-basics, hands-on approach to farming and ranching. To build, enrich, and retain soil, regenerative farms must focus on crop diversity, crop rotations, limit or eliminate use of pesticides and herbicides, till minimally, plant cover crops to reduce soil erosion, integrate livestock with rotational grazing systems, limit use of pharmaceuticals, and use all possible waste as natural fertilizer. The result of these practices is a soil that becomes richer, more voluminous, and more full of life by the year, and livestock and crops that are unmatched in their flavor and nutritiousness.

We’re so fortunate to have discovered the bounty of working with the land and we love sharing it with people. We look forward to sharing it with you, and we know you’ll taste the difference.

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