MDC partners with MU for new regenerative ag center
The University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources is forming a new Center for Regenerative Agriculture with several partners.
Rob Meyers, already with the MU’s Division of Plant Sciences, will serve as faculty director for the center, “It’s not that the university has the answers on this. Oftentimes, farmers are the ones on the leading edge of these regenerative approaches. I know I’ve learned a lot from farmers that have been creative and coming up with ways to improve their operations. So that will be part of what we’re doing is learning from farmers as we go forward with this.”
The Missouri Department of Conservation is a partner with CAFNR for the new regenerative agriculture center. Bill White, community and private land conservation chief with the state Conservation Department says the focus will be on common practices like cover crops and more that can not only help the quality of soil and water but a farmers’ bottom line, “There’s growing interest in that across the landscape. Trying to keep some kind of living breathing cover on the land as long as possible during the year. Another example would be integrating native grasses into grazing systems.”
White, who will represent the department on the advisory board, says the pandemic highlighted the need to get involved, “There was a lot of connection between ag producers and consumers trying to find some trusted source for food and so that was kind of the springboard to some of the thoughts behind the Conservation Department getting behind something like this.” The Conservation Department has provided grant funds to start the center.
Several Missouri farmers will serve on the advisory board. Other partners are the USDA, NRCS, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Walton Family Foundation and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research.