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Proposal Details

Proposal ID930
Proposal2018 Platform Amendment Regenerative Agriculture and Climate Change
PresenterPlatform Committee: Sponsored by Platform Committee
Floor ManagerMargaret Flowers
Discussion08/20/2018 - 09/16/2018
Voting09/17/2018 - 09/23/2018
Presens Quorum33 0.6666
Consens Quorum54 0.6666 of Yes and No Votes


The United States' industrialized agriculture system is highly destructive of our environment, of our people's health, and of our society's future. Unless it changes radically, we face desertification, ecosystem collapse, mass extinctions, and starvation. Our civilization itself is threatened by the loss of the ecosystem services on which it depends for its existence. Moreover, agriculture is the high-order term in climate change, not only because of the amount of carbon it contributes to the atmosphere, but also because of the vital role it could play in sequestering carbon and restoring a healthy carbon cycle.

Currently the Green Party platform calls for localization and organic methods. However, this does not go far enough. Small farms, even those using organic methods, can fail to regenerate healthy soil, to sequester carbon, or to foster biodiversity and robust ecosystem services. Small producers are also under pressure from large corporate agricultural interests to whom they are beholden for fertilizer, seed, feed, and equipment, and whose subsidized and industrialized mono-cropping and confined-animal operations distort the market in favor of corporate profits rather than farmers' interests or consumer health. It is notable that the rate of suicide among farmers is many times that of the general population.

"Regenerative Agriculture (RA)", also called "Agroecology," refers to a suite of holistic principles and methods that together have the proven potential to rapidly restore our rural and natural environments to full health, sequestering vast quantities of carbon, restoring ecological balance and biodiversity, building soil, and reversing desertification, all while producing more food of a higher quality. It also has the potential to restore agricultural communities to economic independence and security.

The precise methods employed in RA vary according to the properties of the biome in which the agricultural project is located, but they generally include the following:

No-till/minimum tillage. (Soil is never "naked" in RA.)
Soil building through cover cropping, multi-cropping, inter-cropping, and crop and animal rotation, while avoiding all use of artificial or synthetic fertilizers.
Restoring sub-soil biomes, starting with innoculation by composts and maintained with inter-crop plantings, managed grazing, and wild border areas.

These methods are consistent with organic principles, but are not consistent with mono-cropping or confined animal operations. They are particularly well-suited to the small family/cooperatively-owned farm. Farmers who have implemented these principles have enjoyed improved yields, a lower rate of crop failures, reduced crop loss to pests, and drastically lowered reliance on external inputs, including synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, but also lowered use of expensive, fossil-fuel-burning equipment. Their living soil stabilizes the hydrological cycle by readily absorbing and storing water, and it stores vastly greater quantities of organic carbon, reversing the contribution of their agricultural operations to climate disruption. They have also reported more stable incomes and a vastly improved degree of satisfaction in their profession.


Amend Chapter III A. (Climate Change) subsection 6 to read:


6. Clean, Green Agriculture

a. Convert U.S farm and ranchland to organic practices. Chemical and industrial agriculture produces 35-50% of climate destabilizing greenhouse gases.

b. Switch to local food production and distribution. Localized, organic food production and distribution reduce fossil fuel usage and enriches soil that sequesters more carbon dioxide.

c. Reduce methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases by rapidly phasing out confined animal feeding operations, and encouraging a reduction in meat consumption.


6. Regenerative Agriculture

a. End industrialized agriculture methods, including monocropping, reliance on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and the use of confined animal operations, all of which are high-order contributors to atmospheric greenhouse gases.

b. Convert our food producing systems to small-scale organic, regenerative agriculture (agroecology) systems to restore soil health, sequester carbon, foster biodiversity, discourage the currently unsustainable level of meat consumption, and secure robust ecosystem services for a sustainable future.

c. Replace subsidization of industrially produced agricultural products with support for small producers employing organic, regenerative agricultural methods. Localize food distribution systems to minimize waste, build rural communities, and eliminate reliance on fossil fuels.


Approval of this proposal will amend the 2018 GPUS Platform,


An excellent overview and detailed testimonial is provided by Gabe Brown, a farmer in South Dakota who now teaches internationally on RA practices.

Contacts: Platform Committee - Bruce Hinkforth, co-chair,, 262-569-1370; Linda Cree, co-chair,, 906-942-7076; Author, B. Sidney Smith,


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