April 8, 2016

Vermont House Committee Seeks Advice on Regenerative Agriculture

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Testimony from three experienced farmers for their expertise on regenerative agriculture was heard by Vermont’s Agriculture and Forest Products committee in the State House, yesterday.

“Farming can be a tool we can use to repair the environment,” farmer Lindsay Harris said. This statement contrasts many views people have of the agricultural system, especially when raising cattle.

Harris brought butter from her farm for the committee to enjoy before sharing her knowledge on the economic and environmental benefits of raising grass fed livestock. She told the story of her friend who raises their beef on grass alone and his comment that this decision was an economic one, not philosophical.

Harris went on to list the many advantages regenerative agriculture could have on Vermont’s climate. This included better water infiltration into the soil as the animals are allowed to walk on it and break it up.

Their manure also improves soil health and she noted that many studies confirm that grass fed cows are healthier as well as the humans who consume their meat. She supported this claim by telling the committee how the veterinary bill from the past year was more expensive for her two cats than for the several cattle she owns.

Changing industrial agriculture in Vermont to regenerative is not a simple task, however farmer Jessie McDougal believes that this state is “poised to lead the revolution.”

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