The Value of Wildlife in Agriculture
Agriculture - the vast majority of which is industrial - covers one third of our planet's surface and is the single greatest threat to wildlife. Habitat destruction, land fragmentation and the pollution of soil, water and air has led to significant losses in biodiversity around the world - from small soil microbes to large mammals. Not to mention agriculture-driven climate change, which impacts life thousands of miles "off the farm" - from pole-to-pole to the depths of the ocean.
Regenerative agriculture offers real solutions by employing methods intended to nourish and sustain life such as: rotational grazing to build soil, planting perennials to prevent erosion, and growing diversified crops with no chemical inputs. These are the practices our team and farmers at the Sharing Our Roots Farm stand by and demonstrate.
As we work to restore land and water, we are seeing wildlife populations flourish after a long absence. Our 100-acre farm offers a sanctuary for the creatures with whom we share this world and in return, our farm is provided with numerous ecosystem services like seed dispersal, pollination, nutrient cycling and pest regulation.
Farmers, farmland owners and food and agriculture organizations alike have an incredible mission - responsibly stewarding our planet's land and resources. Contributing to our local economy and food security should not be done at the expense of natural ecosystems. Wildlife can warn us when there is an imbalance in the landscape and both help and teach us how to restore it. Only when we stop and listen will we be able to create truly regenerative food systems.
At Sharing Our Roots we are doing just that - listening to the voices of the amazing creatures that call the farm home. In the summer of 2020, we began documenting the exciting return of wildlife. From May to August our team conducts amphibian, bird and insect surveys to learn how our regenerative practices influence the presence of different species and to monitor changes from year to year. You can read more about our initiative WildlifeCounts here.