The Midwest ecosystem is a highly functioning and complex arrangement of physical, chemical and biological forces that evolved to support large mammals with its endless oceans of tall grasses and savanna habitats. The United States, with a commanding demand for beef presents a unique opportunity for transforming large sections of the landscape suited for, and ecologically in alignment with the evolutionary characteristics of cattle. Although restoring ecosystems requires the restoration of native species, the disruption and complete elimination of ancient bison migration routes makes this goal unattainable under current geopolitical, economic and ecological conditions. Although Native communities are successfully restoring bison to some regions, cattle, if raised with grasses and in an environment managed to resemble its geo-evolutionary blueprint can be a transformational opportunity. For this to happen, this sector (like others) also needs to come together as a consolidated ecosystem.
Organizations such as the Grassfed Exchange have made strides in this process, but still, too many grass-fed cattle ranchers, like many other farmers in other sectors, continue to operate in ways that keep them from achieving the collective impact they are already capable of delivering for the regions where they farm. It is the objective of the RAA to seek opportunities to cooperate with the Grassfed Beef sub-ecosystem to begin a process of building cohesive and systemic ecosystem management opportunities as a way to bridge key areas of interdependence such as regional industrial regenerative development parks and other critical physical and organizational infrastructure.