Background/Question/Methods Industrial and extractive agriculture has subverted the economy of nature, degrading planetary ecosystems and creating some of the largest challenges humanity has ever faced, like climate change, loss of biodiversity, clean water and fertile soil. The mission of Mad Agriculture is to create a regenerative revolution in agriculture. The ‘Mad’ is inspired by a set of poems from Wendell Berry that call us to reimagine and create economy based on place-based wisdom and principles of ecology. Regenerative agriculture, in its deepest essence, is founded upon and operates from a different set of values than those that guide the industrial economy. It manifests as a shift of values and concepts, from linearity to circularity, quantity to quality, monoculture to diversity, competition to cooperation, short to long view, extractive to regenerative, centralized to decentralized, dominion to interbeing, power to empowerment, withholding to sharing, manufactured to authentic. It inverts the industrial economy, and rebalances the global biogeochemical cycles (i.e. carbon and nitrogen) by shifting the economy of extraction to the economy of giving, and in that reciprocity, nourishing ourselves through the natural outcome of healthy food as a result of investing in healthy soil.
Results/Conclusions Over the past four years we’ve been working across the USA helping farmers transition to regenerative agriculture. Here, I will discuss our research, impact and ecosystem services program, which is focused on understanding, valuing and monetizing the ecological benefits of regenerative and organic farming. In 2021, we launched a research program to better understand the financial and ecological benefits of transitioning to regenerative organic agriculture. Across our community of farmers, we are examining field-specific and farm-wide benefits to the economic and ecological aspects of the farm system over a 10-year period. In short, we are measuring: soil health, functional and chemical properties, soil carbon sequestration (down to 1 meter depth), soil water function (i.e. water infiltration, water holding capacity and porosity, and ecosystem diversity with a focus on insect diversity (community structure and function, pollinators and ecosystem services, such as beneficial insect predation and grainvory), plant and bird diversity. I will report on early findings from our field work and discuss our efforts to bundle and mint these benefits into an Mad Ag NFT with RegenNetwork that values the true and whole value that regeneration creates.