Jones Farms Organics has been working hard to restore its soil and ecosystem health since 2005. They're a family-owned farm in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, well-known for its potatoes. Over the next few years, we're putting those potatoes to the test. Amy's Kitchen is partnering with Jones Farms Organics as early adopters of Amy's Regenerative Agriculture Pilot Project. We will support and reward farmers like the Joneses for using the best industry farming practices to heal our planet.
For decades we've seen that growing food the conventional way--with pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, continues to degrade the Earth's soil, leading to more carbon in the atmosphere. We're confident there is a better way: Regenerative Organic (RO) practices have the potential to trap and sequester more carbon than other farming methods. Only a small percentage of farms has adopted regenerative practices, partly because U.S. farm policy does not prioritize them. And for growers in conventional farming communities, the transition to becoming RO-certified can feel like an obstacle course.
Among all the barriers for transitioning to regenerative agriculture, the cost (or perceived cost) remains a commonly cited obstacle. From adopting new farm practices to reworking how they keep data and manage expenses, farmers may have a difficult time with the transition. Jones Farms Organics is one of three micro pilot projects that we are supporting and monitoring over the next three years. This pilot program should give us insight into how to best achieve a more aggressive certification, in addition to a different set of field practices to meet the requirements.
We partnered with Mad Agriculture, a non-profit thought leader in Regenerative Agriculture (RO), whose mission is to reimagine and restore our relationship with Earth through agriculture. This organization helps farmers with creative solutions like connecting farms with value-aligned brands, finance opportunities and strategic land planning that is farm-centered and ecology-based. We're also working with a university to measure the outcomes of specific techniques we are interested in, including the ecosystem benefits and carbon sequestration potential.
The process of capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that can help reduce global climate change.
Carbon dioxide (CO2)
The main component of soil organic matter that helps give soil water-retention capacity, structure and fertility.
Fun Fact: soil holds the largest portion of active carbon on the Earth.
What does organic mean?
No synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic farming methods build soil health and support soil's natural power to store carbon and help fight climate change.
What does regenerative organic agriculture mean?
These best organic practices sequester carbon and improve soil health, biodiversity, nutrition and climate resilience. These practices include:
Improving soil health by building soil organic matter, conservation tillage, cover crops, crop rotation, biodiversity and livestock integration (where applicable)
These are modern versions of the methods developed over centuries from all parts of the planet. Moving away from conventional farming of the past, they offer a brilliant alternative. Before the pilot projects began, we sent a detailed questionnaire to all our suppliers to better understand which current farming methods are being implemented. We want to continue to lead the industry by investing in practices that benefit our environment and the communities growing our food.
We're on a continuous improvement journey with our growers and suppliers to break out of the old and into the new world of regenerative and organic agriculture. Indeed, when it comes to making more organic food responsibly, working with nature and our farming community is how we can restore the health of our planet. It's how we can turn agriculture from a climate problem to a climate solution. It starts with supporting the people who grow our food. While this work is about making progress over time, we aim to promote the pilot project’s preliminary results by fall of 2023.