I've learned so much about regenerative ranching from Albertan stockman and grass farmer Steve Kenyon. He's one of those rare people able to integrate land, water, livestock, wildlife (he especially loves dragonflies and dung beetles!), economics, and quality of life for his family in their ranching operation. In a recent article in Canadian Cattlemen he said:

Soil degradation has been occurring in agriculture for centuries. We knew about how agriculture causes a broken water cycle more than 2,000 years ago, yet, it is still not a priority in most agricultural conversations. . . . My number one priority on my farm is to repair the water cycle. To do this, I need to build and protect the soil. . . . (W)e managed to grow over three inches of topsoil in 12 years of regenerative grazing. So that is an inch every four years. . . . We went from four per cent organic matter to over 10 per cent. That A horizon is now between four and 16 inches thick where it was basically no topsoil there previously. But to do this, we needed well-managed perennial polycultures.

From my perspective in drought-blasted Montana, Steve's article is like a shot of hope-filled adrenalin. It may be deep, dark, cold outside now, but I'm all revved up planning specific actions to continue to repair the water cycle on the land I manage. I'm so grateful that people like Steve and Amber Kenyon share their lessons learned!

(Though I do have to wonder why Kenyons aren't running some sheep along with those cattle and hogs! 😉 )
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