Meetings with Senators Braun [R-IN] and Ernst [R-IA] kicked off the first Regenerate America Fly-In on Tuesday. Our KTG Policy team was joined by Farmer Leadership Council Members Yadi Wang, Dawn Breitkreutz, and Will Harris, as well as coalition partners Harley Cross and Katie Fettes of Land Core, Duane Hvorka of the Izaak Walton League of America, and Ranjani Prabhakar of Earthjustice. Virtual meetings were also joined by Farmer Leadership Council members Melony Edwards, Wayne Swanson Jr., and Rick Clark.
The Regenerate America policy platform was well-received, with invitations to continue to work together coming from all offices and a general mix of curiosity, support, and enthusiasm. The economic and ecological opportunities offered through the transition to regenerative were generally widely acknowledged, and there is bipartisan support for investments in agriculture and soil health broadly, but there is still work to be done educating our legislators on the many benefits of regenerative agriculture and how and why it works. Yet another clear reason why now is the time for a farmer-centered awareness campaign like Regenerate America!
Over the course two days, coalition representatives met with 25 offices and shared the vision for a more regenerative agriculture system, and why the 2023 Farm Bill is the critical opportunity. Our Farmer Leadership Council members spoke of their personal barriers and successes, and what support for regenerative agriculture would mean for them and other regenerative producers.
“Whether you’re looking at dust storms across the nation due to drought, global food shortages and food insecurity, or the the negative environmental impacts caused by increasing greenhouse gas emissions, regenerative agriculture has the potential to restore natural ecosystems and make positive impacts on the health of people, communities, and our planet, we must support farmers and ranchers in their efforts to build resilience on their land, regenerate the soil, and improve farm economics – all while creating access to healthy food for every American.” – Yadi Wang, Oatman Flats Ranch
Chairman David Scott [D-GA-13] spoke directly of his support for regenerative agriculture during a virtual fly-in session, calling it the key to the future of agriculture in the United States. He has invited Regenerate America to participate in a hearing on the subject later this year, in Georgia.
We also met with offices not on the Ag Committees, but who have seen Kiss the Ground the film and have expressed commitment to helping spur the widespread transition to regenerative agriculture in the U.S., including Representative Tony Cárdenas [D-CA-29] and Progressive Caucus Chair Representative Pramila Jayapal [D-WA-7].
As a follow up to the fly-in meetings, we will be activating our grassroots base with targeted Calls to Action to write to their legislators and encourage them to support Regenerate America!
Finally, on Wednesday evening we hosted a reception at Beuchert’s Saloon for Congressional staff and coalition partners. After more than a year of building this coalition, it was wonderful to meet so many partners in person for the first time, and we are already looking forward to the next trip to the Hill!