regenerative ag

Modou Sowe: No-Till Farming in California & The Gambia [Ep. 168]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Modou Sowe is born to a farming community called Wellingara Village in The Gambia. He was among the lucky children of farmers with the opportunity to be educated.

Upon completion of his High School education in 2004, he realized that the ever increasing livestock theft has affected farmers and even forced them to sell the herds.

With the determination for a change, he organized his fellow youths to combat against this problem by forming a small community based organization called the shepherd and livestock owners association which expands to be a national association called The National Livestock Owners Association in which he is the Secretary General.

Modou is also the national youth coordinator of the national coordinating organization for farmers association The Gambia (NACOFAG). Which is the national networking organization for all farmers associations in The Gambia.

In 2018, he was selected to participate in a yearlong leadership training program by the McCain Institute for International Leadership in the USA and specialized in farming.

Modou hopes to increase youth participation in the agricultural value chain of The Gambia for youth empowerment opportunities, economic development and national food security by establishing the first ever no till organic farm academy that will train, support and motivate youth farmers in no-till farming.

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Interview Highlights:

  • Modou shares his background, giving some background on his agricultural work in The Gambia

  • Modou discusses his experience with Singing Frogs Farm, no till farming, and it’s implications for climate change and the conditions for farming in The Gambia

  • Modou shares his insights for what he believes is most needed for the people and the land in The Gambia

https://www.gofundme.com/support-next-generation-farmers-in-the-gambia/

https://www.mccaininstitute.org/next-generation-leaders/modou-sowe/

https://www.mccaininstitute.org/podcast/in-the-arena-episode-29-modou-sowe/

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Erin Axelrod is a Partner at LIFT Economy, helping to accelerate the spread of climate-beneficial businesses, specializing in businesses that address critical soil and water regeneration. She is an avid ecologist, grassroots organizer and regularly forages for wild food in her home in rural Sonoma County. You can follow Erin on Twitter @erinaxelrod or email her erin@lifteconomy.com.

Birgit Cameron: Patagonia Provisions' Pioneers Regenerative Organic Food [Ep. 163]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Birgit Cameron is Managing Director at Patagonia Provisions, a division of Patagonia Works, based in Sausalito, California. In 2012, she launched Patagonia Provisions with Yvon Chouinard, the founder/owner of Patagonia, and Patagonia’s CEO, Rose Marcario. The company was created as a way to broaden Patagonia’s environmental mission by partnering with forward-thinking farmers, ranchers and fisherman and offering a variety of regeneratively sourced organic food.

Over the past six years, she has introduced a varied line of mission-based food products intended to address critical environmental issues, while establishing a model to help restore the food chain. Patagonia Provisions has doubled its sales each year, as Birgit has rapidly expanded the company into national grocery and outdoor lifestyle chains and international markets. In addition, through Patagonia Provisions she has been a keen advocate, financial supporter and partner to a variety of noteworthy organizations who follow similar values and mission as the company: "we're in business to save our home planet". Her work with Patagonia Provisions has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Bloomberg Businessweek.

In 2016, Birgit produced “Unbroken Ground”, an award-winning documentary detailing the critical role food plays in solving the environmental crisis. Later that year, working closely with The Land Institute, she introduced Patagonia Provisions’ Long Root Ale, the first beer made with a new perennial grain called Kernza. In 2018, she worked, as a part of Patagonia’s efforts, to establish the Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROC), a new high-bar organic certification that includes optimizing soil health to sequester more carbon, and values animals' and workers' welfare. Under Birgit’s leadership, Patagonia Provisions has become a recognized leader in the organic food movement.

Birgit lives in Marin County, CA with her husband and their two daughters.

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Interview Highlights:

  • Birgit shares her background on how she came to lead Patagonia Provisions

  • Insight into how Patagonia Provisions vets its suppliers

  • A backstory on Patagonia Provisions’ beer, Long Root Ale, the first beer made with a new perennial grain called Kernza

  • A breakdown of what the regenerative-organic standard is and why it matters

  • What we can expect from Patagonia Provisions in the near future

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Ryan Honeyman is a Partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). You can follow Ryan on Twitter @honeymanconsult or email him ryan@lifteconomy.com.

Patagonia Mini-MBA (3 of 4) – Strategy [Ep. 156]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Vincent Stanley, co-author with Yvon Chouinard of "The Responsible Company", has been with Patagonia on and off since its beginning in 1973, for many of those years in key executive roles as head of sales or marketing. More informally, he is Patagonia’s long-time chief storyteller. Vincent helped develop the Footprint Chronicles, the company’s interactive website that outlines the social and environmental impact of its products; the Common Threads Partnership; and Patagonia Books. He currently serves as the company’s Director, Patagonia Philosophy, and is a visiting fellow at the Yale School of Management. He is also a poet whose work has appeared in Best American Poetry. He and his wife, the writer Nora Gallagher, live in Santa Barbara.

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Interview Highlights:

  • Patagonia’s approach to marketing and how it’s evolved over time

  • Exploration of the thinking behind Patagonia’s feature-length films

  • How Patagonia intentionally cultivates their brand community

  • Standing up for what you stand for might mean standing against or alienating potential customers and strategic partners

  • Doing what’s right and authentic is good business


Other Episodes in this series:


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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Ryan Honeyman is a Partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). You can follow Ryan on Twitter @honeymanconsult or email him ryan@lifteconomy.com.

Patagonia Mini-MBA (1 of 4) – Vision [Ep. 154]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Vincent Stanley, co-author with Yvon Chouinard of "The Responsible Company", has been with Patagonia on and off since its beginning in 1973, for many of those years in key executive roles as head of sales or marketing. More informally, he is Patagonia’s long-time chief storyteller. Vincent helped develop the Footprint Chronicles, the company’s interactive website that outlines the social and environmental impact of its products; the Common Threads Partnership; and Patagonia Books. He currently serves as the company’s Director, Patagonia Philosophy, and is a visiting fellow at the Yale School of Management. He is also a poet whose work has appeared in Best American Poetry. He and his wife, the writer Nora Gallagher, live in Santa Barbara.

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Interview Highlights:

  • Four critical moments in Patagonia’s history: rock climbing with petons, the Ventura River, organic cotton, and “Don’t Buy This Jacket.”

  • How Patagonia developed its new mission statement

  • The Stockholm Resilience framework and how Patagonia thinks about planetary boundaries

  • The company’s approach to growth and why they should (or should not) grow

  • The eight business philosophies that guide the company’s decision-making and operations


Other Episodes in this series:


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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Ryan Honeyman is a Partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers). You can follow Ryan on Twitter @honeymanconsult or email him ryan@lifteconomy.com.

Tre' Cates: Liberating Our Latent Potential Through Regenerative Design [Ep. 152]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Consulting with organizations in a variety of industries across 6 continents and 35 countries, Tré has proven to be indispensable in designing, developing, and implementing an organization’s purpose for the future. His industry experience is very diverse from the development of faith-based community organizations, a publicly-traded technology company, to a multinational organization working in 20+ countries. One of his companies was recognized twice as one of the fastest growing companies in the US on the INC 500/5000 list. He has won several top individual awards in the state of Colorado including Entrepreneur of Distinction in Boulder, CO and two-time semi-finalist of Colorado’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He is active in his community by serving on the board of several companies including multiple non-profits. Tré has a BA in Philosophy from Ouachita Baptist University and a MA in Theology from Southwestern seminary.

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Some highlights from Andrew Baskin’s conversation with Tre’ Cates include:

  • Tre’s journey of personal fulfillment & the transformative role that mentorship played in his life

  • The paradigm shifting impact Tre’ experienced and aims to share with others through regenerative design

  • Tre’s application of values through cultural investments at his former tech company

  • The deep backstory on nRhythm and it’s relationship with Alan Savory and The Savory Institute

  • How managing for overall system health is a precondition that allows potential to be realized in living systems and organizations

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

Amelia Swan Baxter: Building The Next Economy With WholeTrees [Ep. 151]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Amelia Baxter believes that the 21st century built environment is filled with opportunities for trees. Baxter co-founded WholeTrees in 2007 to develop and sell products and technologies that would scale the use of waste-trees in commercial construction, increasing forest revenues, and offering green construction markets a new material for the 21st century. Amelia has led project teams in over $2M in USDA research grants working toward the commercialization of the tree's natural engineering. By raising equity investment for her company, attracting national executive talent, and pinpointing nascent urban markets for trees as structure, Baxter has participated in the growth of a truly conscious and regenerative company.

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Interview Highlights:

  • How WholeTrees provides an ecological, economic, social, and aesthetic benefit

  • Coming from a place of heart as well as a place of necessity to attract great staff and business culture

  • How the character and inner work of company leaders ripples throughout the entire organization

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Erin Axelrod is a Partner at LIFT Economy, helping to accelerate the spread of climate-beneficial businesses, specializing in businesses that address critical soil and water regeneration. She is an avid ecologist, grassroots organizer and regularly forages for wild food in her home in rural Sonoma County. You can follow Erin on Twitter @erinaxelrod or email her erin@lifteconomy.com.

Lindsay Cruver: Raising Our Regenerative Mussel Memory at Catalina Sea Ranch [Ep. 147]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Lindsay Cruver is the Director of Research & Development at Catalina Sea Ranch, and her team evaluates and implements new science and technology to advance sustainable and regenerative offshore crop cultivation. She earned her bachelors degree in Biology from the George Washington University and is the daughter of the CEO of Catalina Sea Ranch, the first offshore aquaculture facility in the United States, based in Los Angeles, California.

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Some highlights from Erin Axelrod’s conversation with Lindsay Cruver include:

  • The 100-acre Catalina Sea Ranch is the first and currently the only offshore aquaculture facility in the U.S. and is located on the periphery of about 26,000 acres (40 square miles) of U.S. Federal waters of the San Pedro Shelf.

  • Lindsay describes the sea ranching process and the technology that Catalina Sea Ranch uses and contrasts clean aquaculture from dirty aquaculture

  • Lindsay shares how their production process benefits their environment by creating habitat for other organisms such that private and commercial fishers surround the ranch to catch yellowtail fish the ranch attracts

  • Listeners are invited to consider mussels as a healthy source of sustainably produced protein

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Erin Axelrod is a Partner at LIFT Economy, helping to accelerate the spread of climate-beneficial businesses, specializing in businesses that address critical soil and water regeneration. She is an avid ecologist, grassroots organizer and regularly forages for wild food in her home in rural Sonoma County. You can follow Erin on Twitter @erinaxelrod or email her erin@lifteconomy.com.

Brock Dolman: Thirsty for a Balanced Water Budget [Ep. 141]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Brock Dolman co-directs the WATER InstitutePermaculture Design Program and Wildlands Program. He has taught Permaculture and consulted on regenerative project design and implementation internationally in Costa Rica, Ecuador, U.S. Virgin Islands, Spain, Brazil, China, Canada, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba and widely in the U.S. He has been the keynote presenter at numerous conferences and was featured in the award-winning films The 11th Hour by Leonardo DiCaprio, The Call of Life by Species Alliance, and Permaculture: A Quiet Revolution by Vanessa Shultz. In October of 2012, he gave a City 2.0 TEDx talk. Brock completed his BA in the Biology and Environmental Studies departments at the University of California Santa Cruz in 1992, graduating with honors. For over a decade, he has served as an appointed commissioner on the Sonoma County Fish & Wildlife Commission

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Some highlights from Kevin Bayuk’s conversation with Brock Dolman include:

  • Unpacking aspects of the ecological, biological, & economic importance of water

  • Adaptation to global warming by maximizing/stretching our water budgets at various scales

  • Suggestions for transitioning ecologically from viscous cycles to virtuous cycles & personal resilience strategies

  • An overview of some of Brock’s exciting projects at The WATER Institute at the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center and beyond

Resources:

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Kevin Bayuk, Co-founder and Partner at LIFT Economy, works at the intersection of ecology and economy where permaculture design meets next economy organizations intent on meeting human needs while enhancing the conditions conducive to all life. He is the Senior Financial Fellow at Project Drawdown and a founding partner of the Urban Permaculture Institute.  You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinbayuk or email him kevin@lifteconomy.com.

Leah Penniman: Farming While Black [Ep. 137]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


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Leah Penniman is a Black Kreyol educator, farmer/peyizan, author, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY. She co-founded Soul Fire Farm in 2011 with the mission to end racism in the food system and reclaim our ancestral connection to land. As co-Executive Director, Leah is part of a team that facilitates powerful food sovereignty programs - including farmer trainings for Black & Brown people, a subsidized farm food distribution program for people living under food apartheid, and regional organizing toward equity in the food system. Leah holds an MA in Science Education and BA in Environmental Science and International Development from Clark University, and is a Manye (Queen Mother) in Vodun. Leah has been farming since 1996 and teaching since 2002. The work of Leah and Soul Fire Farm has been recognized by the Soros Racial Justice Fellowship, Fulbright Program, Omega Sustainability Leadership Award, Presidential Award for Science Teaching, NYS Health Emerging Innovator Awards, and Andrew Goodman Foundation, among others. Her book, Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land (Chelsea Green Publishing, November 2018) is a love song for the land and her people. Follow her @soulfirefarm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Some highlights from Andrew Baskin’s conversation with Leah Penniman include:

  • Stories of unquantifiably valuable moments of healing of intergenerational trauma through relationship with land for people of color

  • How Leah’s new book, Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land, overcomes cultural erasure by providing a rare resource for Black/POC food & farming practitioners to learn about, celebrate, and reclaim their ancestral legacy of being in deep relationship with land

  • Leah shares details on the chapter in the book, “White People Uprooting Racism," for whose interest in antiracist work as white allies

  • Soul Fire Farm’s relationship with intentional community Wildseed and a POC/Indigenous-led land trust is reclaiming spaces in alignment with shared values

Resources:

Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement by Dr. Monica White

The Color of Food by Natasha Bowens

Collective Courage A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice by Jessica Gordon Nembhard

The Movable School Goes to the Negro farmer by Thomas Monroe Campbell

Ed Whitfield: Racial Justice Meets Non-Extractive Financing [Ep. 78]

Being Human by Climbing Poetree

I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door, I'll Get It Myself) by James Brown

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

Beth Rattner: Exciting Opportunities Through Biomimetic Design [Ep. 132]

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.


Beth Rattner is the executive director for the Biomimicry Institute, a non-profit co-founded by Janine Benyus. Beth directs the Institute’s strategic vision and mission to create a new generation of nature-inspired innovators and oversees the organization’s three programs: Youth Design Challenge, Global Design Challenge + Launchpad, and AskNature. She is a frequent speaker on how biomimetic design in products, cities, and agriculture can bring about a new level of repair and cooperation to our economy and ecosystem which in turn will spur new levels of social equity. 

Prior to this position, Beth worked with William McDonough and Michael Braungart on The Upcycle, the sequel to Cradle to Cradle, before she helped co-found the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and became its first executive director and vice president. Beth was also a managing director for one of the first sustainability business consultant firms, Blu Skye, and business manager for Hewlett Packard’s Emerging Market Solutions (EMS) group. This HP internal “start-up” championed a new lens on providing technology solutions to those who earn less than $2 a day. The team launched HP’s first multi-user, daisy-chained computer for poorly funded schools and a solar-powered printer. The printer provided microfinance opportunities for women who brought paid photography to remote villages, allowing people to photograph their family events for the very first time. Beth is a graduate of U.C.L.A. and Loyola Law School and lives in Marin County, California.

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Some highlights from Kevin Bayuk’s conversation with Beth Rattner include:

  • A brief introduction to the field of biomimicry

  • How so much of what we depend upon in the chemical & materials world could be addressed through structural design

  • Examples of exciting products inspired by biomimetic design

  • How biomimicry is a perfect compliment to many of the solutions proposed in Project Drawdown

  • How the Biomimicry Institute can capture the genius of today’s engineers and designers to solve today’s most pressing challenges

Resources:

Book: Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired By Nature

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LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.

 

Andrew Baskin, Partner & Executive Producer at LIFT Economy, specializes in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.

 

Kevin Bayuk, Co-founder and Partner at LIFT Economy, works at the intersection of ecology and economy where permaculture design meets next economy organizations intent on meeting human needs while enhancing the conditions conducive to all life. He is the Senior Financial Fellow at Project Drawdown and a founding partner of the Urban Permaculture Institute.  You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinbayuk or email him kevin@lifteconomy.com.