Regenerative agriculture is nothing new: why Nebraskans are engaging in sustainable farming

Fernanda Krupek, an agronomy graduate research assistant at UNL, testing soil for the Soil Health Initiative. Photo courtesy of Fernanda Krupek. Clay Govier, a fifth-generation Nebraskan farmer, used to spray herbicides on his family farm’s crops every summer. Strangely, he started noticing himself acting meaner every year around the application time. After talking to an older farmer who experienced the same issues, the two usually-friendly farmers connected the dots. “You start realizing how these herbicides are impacting your endocrine system, which is your emotion,” Govier said. His personal discovery is backed by scientific research: many chemicals that are endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDTs) are found in pesticides, according to research from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Govier thought more about the issue. Even pesticides, which are intended to kill just earthworms and other bugs, could negatively affect the health of the crops he’s growing, the animals who eat them and the people who eat both. “So you start talking about the soil web and food web. Just how all of these things are interconnected,” he said. After these realizations, he decided to cut his chemical use to prevent harm to both his own health and the environment. If he continued, he would be the most likely on the farm to get cancer from the exposure to chemicals, he said. Continue reading

A return to tradition: How Nebraska farmers are adapting to regenerative farming

Nebraska is one of the key states for farming in the United States which, according to the Nebraska Agriculture Fact Card from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, is the number one beef and veal exporter, third-highest producer of corn and the fourth highest in soybean production. Despite these rankings, some Nebraska farmers are concerned about the effects that traditional farming practices are having on the environment. “Nitrous oxide is on the rise,” said Graham Christensen, president and founder of GC Resolve and vice president of Christensen Farms, Inc. “It’s much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is.” Because of the increase in emissions, some farmers are turning to regenerative farming as a solution. Regenerative farming is a technique of farming where conservation practices such as increasing biodiversity, improving irrigation, planting cover crops, not tilling the ground and others are utilized. Continue reading

Nebraska Agriculturalist Fight Climate Change

The population of the world is rising and with it the amount of food needed to feed the world. With climate change continuing to be an issue, some farmers and ranchers are changing the way they produce food.   Regenerative agriculture is a way of producing food that mimics nature and works to improve soil health. Soil health is placed above all else in a regenerative practices even production rates.     Continue reading

Coalition forms amid pandemic to advocate for structural change in rural U.S.

by Laura Thomas, Graham Christensen, Rob Wallace, and John Gulick The writing has been on the wall for years. The industrial agricultural system has been on the brink of collapse for some time, being only one major disrup- tion or a series of disruptions away from catastrophe. COVID-19 was, in fact, that catastrophic disruption.   After a culmination of historic weather events and political mishaps already sinking the agricultural economy, the virus was all that was needed to unleash the unfathomable into the day-to-day fabric of our lives, exacerbating the severity of the ongoing farm crisis and accelerating the decay of the modern food production system. Continue reading

RegeNErate Nebraska Virtual Farm Tour #1

  We are proud to release our latest communications work, the 1st RegeNErate Nebraska Virtual Farm Tour.  In this video, Billy Alward takes us for a short trip around his farm and shows us how he is regenerating the land as part of his business practice.  Alward also discusses the primary challenge presented by COVID-19, which is access to local processing, and he helps us understand why the Legislature must prioritize State Inspection of Meat. Continue reading

In Nebraska, He's Working to Break Up Meat Monopolies

While most of us have recently witnessed empty shelves and higher price tags from the aisles of our local supermarkets, 2019 Fixer Graham Christensen has been fighting for solutions to our fractured food system from the fields. A fifth-generation farmer, Christensen founded the consulting company GC Resolve to help his home state of Nebraska establish more ethical and sustainable agricultural practices.   Continue reading

Quest for Fire Podcast: Ep. 21 - Graham Christensen, Regenerating our Rural Communities

Graham Christensen is president/founder of GC Resolve, and as a 5th generation Nebraska farmer, Graham has been working to raise awareness about the degenerative effects of modern, corporate farming systems, while also voicing the need to expand regenerative, community-focused farming systems. He shares fantastic insight as to how rural communities are being affected, how the political decisions taken decades ago have led rural communities to their current level of vulnerability, and what actions need to be taken now and going forward. Continue reading

Farmer advocates for better working conditions inside food processing plants

One Nebraska farmer is part of an advocacy group working towards better working conditions for food processing plants. Graham Christensen is a fifth generation farmer from Oakland, Nebraska. He’s also the founder and president of GC Resolve, an advocacy group that works on environmental issues, particularly around agriculture. Such issues include: environmental degradation, rise in emissions, and deterioration of water quality in the community. Continue reading

Scientists Say: Climate Change Is Here and Nebraska's Not Immune - Impacts of warming climate felt from Nairobi to North Platte

GC Resolve supports Climate Change Nebraska, a new group led by young Nebraskans raising the awareness about the dangers of climate change and the impacts in Nebraska.  Here is one of the recent articles that features GC Resolve.  Enjoy!   Continue reading

Grain Place Foundation Panel: How Your Food is Produced Does Matter!

Please check out Grain Place Foundation's virtual panel discussion featuring presentations from Bill Whitney, the Founder and Retired Director of RegeNErate Nebraska Network Partner, the Prairie Plains Resource Institute, Graham Christensen, Founder and President of GC Resolve, and Brise Tencer, Executive Director of the Organic Farming Research Foundation.   Continue reading