"Soils of the world must be part of any agenda to address climate change, as well as food and water security."
- Dr. Rattan Lal
To prove the business case while inspiring others with living proof that carbon farming benefits farmers, the community and our environment.
To share our work amongst multiple stakeholders and collaborators in order to most rapidly advance the global soil carbon research and verification standardization process
To have multidisciplinary, verified science to support our farming practices; to work collaboratively as part of a growing body of farmers, researchers, businesses, policy makers and NGOs; to help support global work towards carbon drawdown objectives
In late 2018 we started developing our research program at the farm. Spearheaded by Farm Manager, Zach Wolf, we gathered a group of scientists and researchers from various universities and labs around the country. Below is a brief description researchers involved with the farm.
Michigan State University
"Our approach is to integrate cropping system modeling and geospatial tools such as remote sensing or sensor data to understand the long-term sustainability of agricultural systems and to improve decision-making across a broad spectrum of stakeholders, from the smallholder farmer in the developing world to the industrial producer and policy maker at all scales."
Yale Quick Carbon
"Quick Carbon has developed an open-source technique to rapidly measure soil C concentrations in the field using low-cost field spectrometers and machine-learning algorithms powered by spectral and geospatial data, and our field technicians have collected over 6,000 soil samples in ten states across the continental US. Over the next two years we will use this dataset, along with publicly available soil archives, to build a fully-automated, cloud-based estimation tool, allowing land managers, researchers, and marketplace verifiers to instantly generate estimates of soil C in the field, anywhere in the United States. This novel methodology will allow the estimation of soil C stocks at landscape scales with levels of certainty that will give decision makers and marketplaces confidence in the quantification of soil stewardship and associated ecosystem service outcomes."
Woods End Laboratories Inc.,
University of Maine School of Food and Agriculture
"My approach is to integrate regional soil eco-physiography maps with actual local soil analysis in a manner that supports appropriate soil health assessment. Included in traditional soil analysis are biological attributes such as aerobic microbial respiration, presence of amino-N (organic-N) compounds and micro-aggregate stability."
University of Tennessee,
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Link microbial community composition with specific functions of interest (e.g., carbon and nitrogen fixation and turnover, soil health parameters)
Identify biomarkers for microbial functions with established links to desirable outcomes (e.g., reduced greenhouse gas emissions, increased carbon storage, overall soil health)
Develop tools and guidelines for quantitative assessment of soil health biomarkers
Validate the approaches and apply to various agroecosystems
Research Director, OpenTEAM and Wolfe's Neck Center for Agriculture & The Environment
Dorn Cox serves as Research Director for OpenTEAM (Open Technology Ecosystem for Agricultural Management) and project Lead at Wolfe's Neck Center. WNC is a nonprofit research and education center, a working organic farm, and leader in Regenerative Agriculture.
Dorn lives and works on his family's 300-acre certified organic farm in New Hampshire. As a co-founder of the FarmOS software platform, the GOAT (Gathering for Open Ag Tech) and Farm Hack community, he is passionate about sharing open source agricultural tools, ideas information and inspiration to accelerate innovation and quantify environmental services from regenerative agriculture. In 2018 his work as a NACD Soil Health Champion was recognized with the inaugural Hugh Hammond Bennett award for excellence in conservation given by the National Association of Conservation Districts, and in 2019, Dorn was awarded the Food Shot Global Ground Breaker prize.
"Kris’s work on the Caney Fork is focused on high-resolution soil carbon mapping using a novel combination of thoughtful remote sampling design (stratifi), rapid surface soil extraction, an affordable in-field spectrometer along with limited input from traditional laboratory techniques. Once parameterized for a local region, the models developed using this process have the potential to greatly reduce agricultural soil carbon inventory costs. Although potentially transformative for soil inventory and research, this process is grounded in the well-established ecosystem inventory techniques that underpin the now $750 million annual forest carbon credit market."
University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
"My research goal is to understand ways to build resilient agroecosystems by adopting prudent and sustainable soil management practices. To achieve this goal, I closely study conservation management practices including cover cropping, no-tillage, crop rotations, biochar amendment, organic farming, and use of nitrogen efficiency enhancement products. My research uses routine soil physical, chemical and microbial analyses, as well as advanced isotopic, spectroscopic, chromatographic and wet chemical techniques to study changes in soil properties and processes in managed systems in response of natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Two major research areas my lab is currently focusing are quantification of soil health and greenhouse gas emissions from agroecosystems."
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
"My research interests focus on the interactions involving fungal systems in natural and synthetic environments to understand how plant and microbes interact as a final objective to build sustainable microbial systems and agroforestry ecosystem management for food and bioenergy crop production. The Fungal Genetics and biology lab that I lead uses a combination of cutting-edge technologies (from Next-Generation Sequencing, Post-Genomics, Molecular Genetics/Synthetic Biology to Microcosm Systems Biology) with specific emphasis on understanding the genetic and molecular mechanisms of the plant - fungus and microbe - fungus interactions. My research aims at tackling the scientific challenges of the U.S. DOE missions supporting the the sustainable bioenergy and bioproduct development."
We hope to become a leader in collaborative farm-based soil carbon research.
ENABLING MORE RAPID ADVANCEMENT OF POLICY AND PRACTICE
EMPOWERED BY A SHARED, CALIBRATED AND CORROBORATED INTERNATIONAL SOIL CARBON OPEN SOURCE DATABASE
EDUCATING FARMERS, POLICY MAKERS, ASSET ALLOCATORS AND ORGANIZATIONS ON THE SOIL CARBON SEQUESTRATION CAPACITY OF DIVERSIFIED, PASTURE BASED AGROFORESTRY SYSTEMS IN THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES
The soil Opportunity
A conversation with Bruno Basso and Kris Covey from the 2020 Climate Underground conference.
Quick Carbon research
This summer a team of Skidmore College faculty and students collected hundreds of soil samples on the farm using their Quick Carbon technique. To learn more about their project check out the video below.
“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”
- Wendell Berry
"A Global Toolkit of Perennial Crops & Regenerative Ag Proactices for Climate Change Mitigation & Food Security"
By Eric Toensmeier
"A Whole Farm & Ranch Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Accounting System"
"Mission: To work for large-scale regeneration of the world’s grasslands to address desertification, climate change, and food and water insecurity."
"Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change: A Down-to-Earth Solution to Global Warming"
"Empowering everyday people to become activists, equipped with the tools, training, and network to fight for solutions and drive change planet-wide."
Education, network building, and policy work to support regenerative agriculture efforts.
"Mission: To advocate for soil restoration as a climate mitigation solution."
"Mission: To harness the multiple benefits trees provide for agriculture, livelihoods, resilience and the future of our planet, from farmers’ fields through to continental scales."