Teddy Roosevelt called conservations “a great moral issue”. In a way, we are been “mining” our farmland for generations. In the coming decades, managing soil health will become incresainglty important for the long-term productivity of the worlds farmland.
As the steady march of a growing world population continues, the stress on our land and water resources will increase. At Gård, we enable conservation-minded individuals to participate directly in land stewardship by owning land that is managed to maximize production while protecting the soil and water. We support the efforts of groups such as the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative who are working to improve soil health, while maintaining and improving crop production.
Caring for our land and water resources is the responsible thing to do, and it is good business.
Advances in agricultural technology through the last century have enabled farmers to feed a population that has grown form less the 2 billion to over 7.5 billion today. Over the same period, soil managed for agricultural purposes in the U.S. has degraded, losing as much a 60% of its original carbon content.
In addition to farming practices, another factor that is in no small part contributing to a decline in land stewardship is the increasing bifurcation of farming and land ownership. Today approximately one-half to cropland is rented by farmers from absentee owner, typically under short-term 1-3 year leases. The profit maximize remote land owner works to maximize rental income while the farmer works to maximize current year income. Today less the 1% of Americans live and work on farms. Families are losing their connection to the land.
By working to protect and preserve our land and water resources we enable future generations to meet their own needs.