While regenerative agriculture can (and should) look different for every operation, the business case and value proposition for replicating and growing its adoption is increasingly garnering interest from a diversity of groups within and beyond the food system. Many now acknowledge its potential to help address several sustainability crises by sequestering carbon, supporting climatic, environmental and economic health and creating employment and business opportunities. However, scaling the practice continues to face many obstacles. Phase 2 of our Regenerative Agriculture Lab (RAL) aims to convene ~35 committed producers, industry leaders, food distributors and retailers, academics, policymakers and innovative thinkers in general to work together to learn and take action on initiatives that respond to the question:

How might we grow Alberta's regenerative agriculture system in a way that preserves its integrity, while maximizing the positive social, environmental, and economic impacts for communities?

In Alberta, regenerative agriculture is primarily a grassroots movement of small-to-medium operations trying to grow their foothold in a sector where just the economics can keep many from transitioning to regenerative practices as well as diminish the attractiveness for younger generations. Even as new levels of collaboration with large-scale food companies and companies in other industries present new opportunities to mainstream the field, skepticism remains about potential greenwashing and fragmentation persists across the sector about what must define “good” as regenerative scales and what will ultimately define “value”. With so many economic and environmental benefits at stake, this is the right time and place to forge a collective path forward.

Phase 1 of the Regenerative Agriculture Lab (RAL) focused on bringing together a diverse set of Alberta agricultural producers into a forum for innovation and collaboration through a series of workshops, interactive tools and peer-to-peer learning moments. The broad aim was to collectively identify the desired future they wanted to help create for regenerative agriculture in the province and solutions that participants could advance to make this future a reality.
The ideas Phase 1 participants shared in 2021 became the basis of this visual (left).
Phase 1 also identified projects and initiatives that could garner early wins, particularly focused on supporting new entrants into the field, attracting investors and building the network and connections across the system.
Read this two-pager to learn more about what happened in Phase 1.

The Regenerative Agriculture Lab aims to respond to the timely opportunity to…

  • Create a forum for innovation and collaboration for a network of committed regenerative agriculture ‘actors’ in Alberta
  • Celebrate, learn from, and widely share the stories of Albertans who have been putting regenerative solutions into action on farms and ranches
  • Work on collaborative initiatives that enable regenerative agriculture to accelerate its awareness and impact across all players in the agriculture system
  • Co-create a shared vision of a regenerative agriculture system that the future requires of us
  • Generate and exemplify narratives of regenerative agriculture that bridge the polarization on the topic and invites interest from other agriculture players

RAL is working with ~35 individuals that are committed to both learning and acting to advance regenerative agriculture in different ways and with different parts of the agriculture system

For more information, please contact Shiana at syounger @ stettlerlearning.com.


EP53 Dugouts

If you live in Alberta and raise cattle, odds are you’re going to try every possible way to keep that spring melt, or heavy rain, on your land. A tried and true method of ensuring that water doesn’t go wandering off is the dugout.

In this episode, Norine Ambrose, Executive Director of Cows and Fish, helps us understand the importance of protecting riparian areas (including dugouts) and how it can help with drought management.

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EP51 Cover Crops

With fertilizer prices hitting $1,000 a ton, it’s no surprise that cover crops are a hot topic. It makes sense that non-synthetic inputs like cover crops are becoming more and more appealing to producers. There’s many benefits to cover crops – including feeding livestock and pollinators, improving water filtration, suppressing weeds, building soil carbon and improving soil biology. In this episode, we’re joined by Kevin Elmy, of Cover Crops Canada, to discuss the ins and outs of cover crops.

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Planting the ‘Prairie Berry’ — Solstice Berry Farm, Crossfield, Alberta

The Gelowitz’s kept a garden on their farm where they grew several saskatoon bushes. Rick, who grew up in Calgary, but spent quite a few summer vacations on his uncle’s farms in Saskatchewan, has had a lifelong love for the native prairie berry. “It was my wife’s suggestion that we try to grow Saskatoon berries,” he recalls. “And that’s how it started.”

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