Founding Farmers, Holly and John
Our Journey into the Regenerative Agriculture Revolution
A Legacy of Farming
John Arbuckle is a 9th generation farmer. Through his own family stories, he came to understand that the way people farm changes every generation, often quite dramatically. Up until World War II, almost all family farms were chemical free. Since then, pork production has changed from small, family farms to large, industrial confinement operations. Ninety-eight percent of all pork produced in America now comes from these factory farms, not independent farmers. John and Holly chose to go back to raising animals like our ancestors, on green grass without growth stimulants, antibiotics, and GMOs.
Our modern food system is broken.
Confinement facilities concentrate vast numbers of livestock and their waste into buildings where the pigs never see the light of day or set foot on anything other than a slotted concrete floor. Factory farms create problems for human health, animal welfare and the environment.
Equally important, millions of acres of soil across the country are rapidly degrading because of excess tillage, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Degraded soil leads to diminished nutrition and the loss of important trace minerals in our food supply. It also leads to erosion, decarbonization, chemical pollution, and desertification affecting the land, rivers and oceans. Degraded soil becomes compacted and less able to store water, putting us all at greater risk for extreme weather events including flooding and drought.
As farmers, our journey learning about and practicing Regenerative Agriculture evolved over many years. In time, it became clear that Regenerative Agriculture is the way to tie together our love for the planet and our path in farming.
Unlike corporate factory farms, we raise our animals outdoors on green grass. Rather than put them in one pasture for the season, we mimic nature by moving them every few days. This is similar to what the bison would have done on the prairie. Bison didn't just hang around in one spot; they were bunched together (to help protect the herd from predators) and moving, which naturally fed the plants that were utilizing the feces and urine left behind. This also fed the microbiome of the soil, which led to rich topsoil and healthy grassland ecosystems. The prairie needed the bison and the bison needed the prairie. Similarly, land improves when domesticated animals are holistically managed, frequently moving to fresh pasture.
Let's Farm Like the World depends on Us...
Here’s why Regenerative Agriculture matters to us all:
- Healthy soil has a living microbiome of bacteria, fungi, nematodes, worms, insects and more. This living matrix builds topsoil, making soil “spongy” so that it can store water underground. An increase of just 1% of soil organic matter will store an average of 20,000 more gallons of water per acre. Building healthy soil mitigates the risk of both flooding and drought.
- By using practices that mimic nature, practitioners of regenerative agriculture also grow healthier plants, which in turn creates healthier food.
- Healthy soil can help reverse global warming by sequestering carbon. This happens in a variety of ways, including keeping green, living plants in the ground as long as possible and building organic matter in the soil. This draws carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere (where we don’t want it) and puts it back in the ground in the form of organic matter (where we do want it.)
Singing Pastures is our opportunity to make a difference. Join us and thousands of other farmers and ranchers in the Regenerative Agriculture Revolution.