Industrial agriculture produces high GHG emissions, yet is also an essential service provider – not only of food but also of carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services.
As a rural-urban partnership project, Our Food Future had the opportunity to work along the entire value chain, from field to fork, identifying potential system shifts and circular opportunities. For producers, at the starting place of the value chain, we recognized that many farms were keen to use regenerative practices but were missing some key supports in their circular journey.
After a local consultation phase to understand what was needed, we worked with the Arrell Food Institute scholars to design an ‘on ramp’ funding pilot. The Experimental Acres Pilot was created to support a place-based test of regenerative agriculture practices on a small scale, with financial, educational and research support provided for participating producers.
The pilot served three Counties and 36 farms in its first two years; an Experimental Acres Handbook will be made available in order to share successful templates and case studies with interested municipalities.