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This month, we released the 100th episode of the Regenerative Agriculture Podcast! In this special episode, we turned the tables, and our host, John Kempf, was interviewed by AEA grower James Johnson. If you haven’t listened to Episode #100 yet, you can find it here.

The Regenerative Agriculture Podcast was started by AEA Founder John Kempf in 2018 to amplify the voices of farmers, innovators, scientists, educators, business leaders, and researchers leading the way in regenerative agriculture. As we celebrate the milestone of 100 episodes, we’re revisiting the top ten most downloaded episodes and reflecting on what we’ve learned from the brilliant minds who shared their stories.

Here are ten things we learned from the first 100 episodes:

  1. How plant-grazing animals can reduce insect pressure in vineyards
    In Episode #80, we heard from Kelly Mulville, an agricultural consultant and Vineyard Director at Paicines Ranch. He shares how he combined his passion for holistic management grazing and his experience in viticulture to incorporate sheep into his vineyard.
  2. How chemical herbicides and pesticides impact our soil and gut microbiomes
    Zach Bush, MD, is a physician specializing in internal medicine, endocrinology, and hospice care. He is an internationally recognized educator and thought leader on the microbiome as it relates to health, disease, and food systems. In Episode #53, Zach highlights his research on the ramifications of phosphonate compounds and shares how regenerative agriculture can help solve some of our pressing health issues.
  3. The power of observation in making nutrition management changes
    In Episode #75, we heard from James Johnson, a fourth-generation farmer in Southwest New Mexico and the Vice President of Carzalia Valley Produce. He shared how he was introduced to the AEA team and the events that led to his mind shift to regenerative thinking.
  4. The function of biology in response to plant signals and plant immune systems
    Nicole Masters is an internationally recognized agroecologist from New Zealand, Director of Integrity Soils, and the author of For The Love of Soil: Strategies to Regenerate Our Food Production Systems. As a guest on Episode #72, Nicole shares her experience in vermicompost and her strategy of customizing microbial applications to produce specific outcomes.
  5. The power of diversity and rotation in a no-tillage system
    In Epidsode #77, we heard from Rick Clark, a fifth-generation farmer from Warren County, Indiana. Driven by a desire to work alongside mother nature, Rick has been implementing regenerative practices on his farm for almost a decade. Rick’s commitment to soil health has allowed him to grow his operation to 7000 organic, no-till acres, in part by employing a variety of cover cropping and weed control techniques.
  6. How cover crops can control weeds
    As the first organically focused researcher at the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Dr. Erin Silva developed an internationally recognized program that improves the management of organic production systems and increases profitability and sustainability for organic producers and rural communities. In Episode #82, she and John discuss the importance of soil biology and root systems, cover crops, exciting technological innovations, and the power of cover crops to control weeds.
  7. Regenerative practices are profitable
    Adam Chappell is a regenerative grower and cover crop advocate from Cotton Plant, Arkansas, who nearly went bankrupt in 2009 from pigweed issues alone. Knowing there had to be a better way, Adam began educating himself about the power of regenerative agriculture and discusses in Episode #78 how adopting regenerative practices has contributed to improved profitability on his 7,500-acre property.
  8. The size of a farming operation is not a determining factor in how regenerative or sustainable that farm can be
    In Episode #52, Joel Salatin, well-known lecturer and author, co-owner of Polyface Farms, and self-described “lunatic farmer,” describes why farmers are beginning to shift to a regenerative model, the uncomfortable topic of planning for farm inheritance and succession, and the importance of being well-informed and focusing on soil health and profitability above yields.
  9. Environmental impacts have led to unbalanced increases in insect pressures
    An internationally renowned scientist in entomology and agricultural studies, Joe Lewis’ discoveries in the behavioral and chemical interactions of parasitoids, insect herbivores, and plants have played a critical role in our understanding of ecological growing. Episode #79 illuminates all things related to insects and asks us to question our inclination to kill pests without first asking, “Why is this pest a pest?”
  10. The relationships between domestic animals, crops, and healthy landscapes
    Fred Provenza, Professor Emeritus of Behavioral Ecology at Utah State University, is the co-founder of BEHAVE (Behavioral Education for Human, Animal, Vegetation and Ecosystem Management), an international research and outreach program that seeks to understand the principles of animal behavior. In Episode #81, Dr. Provenza discussed the consciousness of plants and animals and our relationship to them and described a pathway for regenerating millions of arid acres in the west of the United States.

We’re so grateful to all who have listened and followed the Regenerative Agriculture Podcast over the years. With dozens of new episodes already recorded, we expect 2024 to be a great year for the show, and we look forward to bringing you the next one hundred episodes.