Closing out the plenary and providing a perfect lead-in to the afternoon’s Regenerative Ag Summit was Evan Harrison, CEO of Kiss the Ground — a nonprofit organization celebrating 10 years of work promoting regenerative agriculture through storytelling, education, and partnerships.
The organization is focused on broadening awareness of regenerative agriculture, fostering corporate accountability and driving policy change. Kiss the Ground is also working to build a community of influencers, role models, and youth who are passionate about regenerative agriculture. Harrison said since the release of the organization’s self-titled documentary was released in 2020, Kiss the Ground has helped to transition millions of acres of land to regenerative management in the US.
Joining him onstage was Yadi Wang, a former scientist who is now General Manager at Arizona’s Oatman Flats Ranch — a once-degraded, third-generation farm that is being nursed back to health through regenerative practices that will be featured as part of an ongoing Kiss the Ground mini-documentary series later this year. Wang said he has witnessed the devastating impacts of climate change on his farm firsthand — including drought, flooding and extreme-weather events.
Wang believes that the broken water cycle is a major contributor to these climate impacts. He explained that the Earth breathes through the ocean, which sinks carbon and exhales oxygen. The carbon and water cycles are connected, and the soil is the second-largest organism on Earth.
Wang also asserted the importance of approaching farming with a holistic mindset, both from an environmental and social standpoint — farmers have the highest rate of suicide of any profession. He said that technology can be helpful in boosting farm health; but he highlighted the need for supporting farmers through local sourcing — including through incentives and policies that enable smaller farmers to get more from every dollar spent on food in the US (currently, they only get about 7 cents on every dollar).
In the meantime, Kiss the Ground’s goal is to continue to inspire and educate audiences worldwide by sharing a diverse array of stories directly from regenerative leaders about their unique journeys.