Friday Aug 04, 2023

Ian Robertson, Ed Brown, and Ben Taylor-Davies on the knowledge and mindset needed for regenerative farm transitions (redux)

I’ve touched on this topic briefly in previous interviews, but it bears repeating. Agriculture around the world is going through a critical moment. The skyrocketing prices of petroleum products, meaning most agriculture chemicals and fertilizers as well as machinery fuel, is causing a tipping point for many farm businesses. Operations that have long been dependent on these synthetic inputs are facing tough decisions. Do they double down and continue to keep their land on life support, sticking with the system they know, but which is becoming more and more unsustainable, or do they take a gamble on new management methods that prioritize soil biology and multiple ecosystem services?

There are no easy answers since for most growers who’ve relied on these inputs for years if not decades, there will need to be a period of transition, even if they chose regenerative management, in which their yields could suffer.

Luckily, there are a few well qualified professionals out there with a track record of guiding farmers through the challenge of transitioning their land management practices, and I had the chance to speak to three of them in a special panel discussion. In today’s session I’ll be speaking with Ian Robertson, Ben Taylor-Davies, and Ed Brown. Between these three fellas they have decades of experience at the forefront of regenerative agriculture, and continue to push the advancement of agroecological innovation at both the individual farm scale as well as the institutional level.

All three of these guys are good friends who attest to speaking to one another just about every day and you’ll hear the characteristics of their friendship come out in this insightful and also light hearted discussion.

Oliver M Goshey 2023

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