This fall, the Quivira Coalition, Holistic Management International, and the American Grassfed Association will continue our collaboration to convene ranchers, farmers, conservationists, land managers, scientists, health professionals, nutritionists, educators, students, and others for a hybrid conference* exploring ideas of Weaving Water, Land, & People.
Weaving is the intricate process of making a complex story, pattern, or integrated whole from multiple distinct elements. Each of us weave in our daily lives as well: when we collaborate with partners; when we identify and solve problems on our ranches and farms; when we develop symbiotic relationships with the plants and animals around us; when we share our story with new friends; and when we listen and have conversations with neighbors. For some, weaving holds a deeper significance.
Weaving is a means of survival, as we are reminded through the stories of Black slaves braiding rice and seeds in their hair when forced to undertake the Middle Passage journey. Weaving is a means of resistance, demonstrated through the knotted yucca cords used to signal the start of the Pueblo Revolt. Weaving is a means of subsistence, which is shown in the use of woven baskets for fishing by Pacific Islanders. Weaving is a celebration and expression of our identities and relationships, and is the central theme of our gathering this year.
Understanding and recognizing how water, land, and people—the core elements of regenerative agriculture and land stewardship—are woven together is imperative. At this year’s conference, we will take a holistic approach to these elements that is grounded in several fundamental ideas: water is life; land includes terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric systems and all the relationships within them; and people refers to those who regenerate our lands and food systems at varying scales and times, past, present, and future. We intend to center marginalized peoples, who have long practiced regenerative agriculture and land stewardship, in this conference. With a holistic approach, we seek to ensure that the wellness of water, land, and all people are considered, protected, and nurtured.
Through this approach and with these fundamentals in mind, we question: What does regenerative agriculture and land stewardship look like when water is scarce? How do we consider different relationships to the land we steward? How do we shift from a culture of appropriation and destruction of traditional agricultural knowledge and stewardship practices, to one of recognizing and actively centering the leadership of BIPOC? How do we move to a paradigm of racial equity as part of the work of creating a food system based on the concept of restorative reciprocity? How can agriculture regenerate and restore landscapes? How do we scale regenerative land stewardship? How do we respect and honor the unique attributes of water, land, and people, while simultaneously weaving all three together? What can water, land, and people teach us when we listen?
Join us at REGENERATE 2021 to explore these questions and pursue solutions. The conference will feature a series of plenary talks, community roundtable discussions, virtual workshops, and field days on topics like succession and transfer planning; holistic grazing planning, “safe to fail” trials; climate resilience and adaptation; scaling regenerative agriculture and conservation practices; racial equity and justice in agriculture and land stewardship; holistic livestock health and management; interdisciplinary soil health research; collaborative conservation; and fostering the whole agrarian lifecycle. Regenerate mind, body, soil, land, water, and spirit at this year’s convening, Weaving Water, Land & People.
*We are excited to announce that we will offer a mix of virtual and in-person activities this year. We are planning for a handful of experiential, on-the-ground field days in the Southwest; a week filled with a variety of practical virtual workshops; and a two-day in-person gathering in New Mexico for plenary, keynote, and roundtable sessions. It is important to recognize that we will have limited capacity for our in-person events and sessions, but don’t let that discourage you! We will again adapt many of our conference activities to accommodate virtual participation. Due to changing CDC and state public health guidelines, the format and/or requirements for attendees may change. We will do our best to communicate these changes in a timely fashion. We hope to see you at REGENERATE 2021!