Regenerative Agriculture is a holistic approach to farming that goes beyond organic practices (which prohibit the use of synthetic inputs) to work with the natural systems of the ecosystem to improve the health and biomass of the soil, increase biodiversity, improve water conservation and quality and sequester carbon to improve our planet’s resilience to climate change.

Regenerative practices are nothing new – they are just new to the past couple of generations. Our great grandparents farmed in harmony with their habitats, and we are proud to have been dairying this way for 20 years. In 2021 we became the 1st Certified Regenerative dairy in the U.S.

Our approach to regenerating the soil through our planned grazing of both the dairy cattle and the chickens, and our holistic approach to farming is both good for the land, and good for people. We are putting carbon back into the soil, sequestering that carbon in an effort to reverse climate change. We are building our soil, our own carbon farm, from the ground up, utilizing cows and chickens to move carbon out of the atmosphere and back into the Earth’s soil. This is our regenerative, organic approach.

Our pastures grow green 365 days a year

We are a grass-based dairy: our pastures grow green 365 days a year. When it comes to growing quality grass, ‘nourishing the soil that nourishes us’ is our highest priority. It’s quite simple – don’t do anything that harms the microbes in the soil, and work with natural systems to improve the biology of the soil.

Our cows are integral players in improving the soil. By practicing good pasture management, matching the need of the pasture to be grazed and fertilized with the need of the cows to eat, we grow the organic matter in the soil.  This is done by having the grass and its roots grow, then having the cows ‘cut’ the grass, which also makes some of the plants root matter die off. These sloughed off roots become food for the microorganisms in the soil that turn that food into more biomass that ‘grows’ the soil.

When we first started measuring the biomass in our soils, it was at 1 and 2%. Now, 8 years later, those same fields are at 8, 1 and 15% organic matter. A little more than half of that organic matter is carbon; which has been taken from the atmosphere by the plant, used as fuel to grow, and is locked in the soil when the roots shed. This is how our good pasture management helps to reverse climate change.

Our composting program

Our composting program is another major part of our regenerative practices. We collect manure from the when the cows are inside in the milking parlor or in the freestall barns where cows are housed in bad weather. This is composted with our cow-bedding components of straw, sawdust, and wood shavings. We add crab and fish waste we collect from our local fisheries (saving it from going into a waste stream) and work the compost piles to cultivate the maximum nutrient content. When this special mix is ready, we spread the compost on as many acres of pasture as possible.

There is a saying: it’s not the Cow, it’s the How. Regenerative dairying demonstrates that properly managed pastures with grazing cows can be one of the key tools in helping with climate change. We are working on not just being sustainable, we are working on the solution: Regeneration.

Many years ago, before our 3rd party certifiers for our organic seal or certified regenerative seals visited our farm to certify us, we, as a family, made a commitment to a way of life for our farm that we honor with our own EcoDairy seal.

You will see this seal on the packages of other brands that are also committed to nutrient-dense foods and a healthy Earth, and that use our dairy and eggs as ingredients in their products.