This systems research project led by National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and funded by the USDA-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, aims to identify and promote practical ways of using regenerative grazing practices to improve soil health and catch and hold more rainwater in soil. The objectives of the project include: (1) identifying practical and regionally-appropriate ways of improving soil health and catching more rainwater in soil, (2) launching a new multi-state network of landowners, especially by small to mid-sized, family-owned farms and ranches, in Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia who are conducting on-farm trials and (3) improving communication and information-sharing among producers and agricultural professionals who are interested in regenerative grazing. Overall, the research includes the study of knowledge systems, barriers to adoption of regenerative grazing, financial feasibility and profitability, and farming and ranching systems. Find more information about the project on NCAT’s Soil for Water website

The Center is supporting the third objective by: 1) creating and publishing videos about regenerative grazing featuring farmers in Virginia, and 2) designing and co-hosting community storytelling events to support a community dialogue across public and private entities. These activies will help catalyze community capacity and cultural understanding of the experiences and realities of food and farming system stakeholders in Virginia, specifically as it relates to regenerative grazing, soil health, water quality and quantity, and broader agroecological values.

Virginia Soil for Water Collaborators

In addition to our Center, Soil for Water project partners include the Virginia Association for Biological Farming. We also want to recognize that in Virginia, there is a broad community of collaborators who are committed to furthing regenerative grazing and soil health systems including American Farmland Trust,  Mountains-to-the-Bay Graziers Alliance, Piedmont Environmental Council, Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Graze 300, Virginia Association for Biological Farming, Virginia Forage and Grassland Council, Virginia Soil Health Coalition, Virginia State University’s Small Farm Outreach Program, Virginia USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and more. 

Logos of Virginia Collaborators focused on soil health