When it has been determined that a partnership has arrived at an untenable destination, prudence dictates that it becomes definitively necessary to terminate the bonds and conditions that hold it together. In fact, it is fair to say that any scenario where it becomes apparent that the survival of one interest is intrinsically contingent on the exploitation of, and extraction from, another interest, it is in itself no longer a partnership. Therefore, such a separation becomes requisite to remove insult to the greater good and remove all obscurities to morality, fairness and mutual justice. For once a system has been exposed and revealed to operate in a manner that upholds a tyrannical, corporate oligarchy, at the expense of the many, it is incumbent upon those adversely impacted to act.
Our call to act is informed by a litany of transgressions exercised by Industrial Ag actors. And, that despite knowing the extent of their impacts, they continue their harmful operations that are decimating family farm businesses, entire communities, the rural middle-class, and farming as we know it. These afronts to agriculture and its way of life include, but are not limited to:
I. Consolidation of profits, power and markets at the expense of entire communities. Rapid vertical-integration or corporate control of and extraction over every sector in the food production system has led to the development of low-classes in rural areas from contracts that put farmers at risk, and low-wage jobs in other areas of the food production cycle that exploit human capital as nothing more than disposable resources. It is honorable for U.S. companies to work to change this extractive culture and to focus on a higher quality of life for all involved in the food production industry.
II. Exposing farmers and the general public to unnecessary and harmful chemicals that adversely impact land, air, water and public health. The Food and Agricultural Organization states that under current farming practices the world has only 60 harvests left, emphasizing the importance of regenerative soil health priorities to ensure the future of food and farm businesses. Furthermore, more exposure to toxic chemicals are leading to increased rates of cancer and neurological diseases in rural farming communities while putting downstream urban population centers at risk. With increased deregulation at the state and federal government level promoting the interest of extractive systems, it will be more incumbent on a higher standard of stewardship to support family farm businesses that reject outside corporate influence that puts nature’s valuable resources, and therefore the public’s health at great risk.
III. Promotion of false solutions like “Climate Smart Agriculture” and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s). Regenerative practices must avoid the continuation of these fake-solutions by implement standards that incorporate the “precautionary principle” in developing improved hybrid seeds, and also through breeding of livestock. While evidence of long-term impacts of genetic modification and gene altering are currently unknown, increased chemical tolerance of GMO’s and impacts on public health are well-known. These are not risks that can be publicly accepted without conclusive scientific evidence supporting improved health outcomes as the only true criteria, rather than accepting simple arguments and corporate propaganda that argues to the contrary. Therefore “Climate Smart Agriculture” and GMO’s must be vetted by a publicly engaged process and must obtain broader non-industrial scientific community approval before companies and the U.S. Government can allow them into the human food chain.
IV. Promotion of policies that continue a vicious cycle of Industrial Agriculture and all of its ailments. Regenerative companies must brake this cycle by adhering to high standards and should implement the “Golden Rule; treat your neighbors as you would want to be treated yourself.” By implementing sound company standards, spreading political power and engaging it for the benefit of the many, rather than the greed of a few. Modern companies must operate by this principle if they are to operate at all.
V. Extraction, expropriation and appropriation of indigenous knowledge and resources. Regenerative businesses must identify and engage in the protection and enhancement of indigenous regenerative farming systems, natural resources, knowledge and wisdom. They must retract from appropriating and expropriating indigenous knowledge, and especially, they must engage in equally beneficial and indigenous-driven partnerships when land, knowledge, and other indigenous resources are at the center of a business development partnership.
We can no longer simply talk about these transgressions. They must be confronted and replaced with a system that is rooted in egalitarianism, inclusivity, transparency and regeneration. It is therefore endowed upon us to dispatch of the extractive agricultural system, which has proven to operate with little consideration as it pertains to ceasing its role in advancing extractive degenerative agricultural and ecological collapse.
As businesses and organizations at every level of our food production system, as farmers and ranchers, tribes, and collective stewards of the land, we acknowledge that we’ve absorbed a trust and responsibility to the earth that includes caring for the soil ecosystem, which makes all that we do possible. We acknowledge that while we are stewards of the land, the land does not belong to us – and that it’s our duty as businesses and organizations, as farmers and ranchers, and as sovereign tribes to ensure that well after our lives conclude, the soil and the land remain accessible, healthy and plentiful, such that nutritious food production is available for future generations of farmers, and all people.
The Regenerative Agriculture Alliance (RAA) hereby declares that we all have an inalienable right to healthy soil, clean air and water, food access for all, transparency between farmers and consumers, nutritious food and good overall public health. We hold that these basic rights will lead to regenerating communities with new jobs and opportunities, all while keeping families on the farm and farming in the good hands of families.
RAA invites those who also conclude that the current model is not only unsustainable, but that there is a better solution that honors ancestral principles based around the way farming used to be – cooperative, community-oriented and mutually beneficial for farmers and consumers to join the RAA and build an era of regenerative farming evolution from the ground-up. The regenerative indigenous approach to working with nature provides real solutions to the intersecting crises of climate change and decreasing soil health and productivity, corporate malfeasance, economic inequality, food insecurity and environmental entropy.
It was FDR who once said, “The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself.” It’s time to end the destruction and regenerate our way to a future that provides for everyone. RAA was established to enhance regenerative agriculture and the marketplace, and declares agriculture is associated with the land, the food, the people, our collective physical, spiritual and mental health, the earth’s climate, with our survival, with a realization that everything comes from the soil, “In the Soil We Trust.”
By signing onto this Declaration of Regeneration you not only agree to the above, but also to have full access to RAA to help your business grow into a modern regenerative agriculture industry.
The Solution Lies in The Soil.
Become a member of RAA and sign the Declaration of Regeneration today!