Heifer USA joins Savory Global Network and commits to tackle climate change through regenerative agriculture

Heifer USA’s Heifer Ranch certified as Savory Global Network Hub to train farmers in Holistic Land Management.
calendar icon 19 November 2021
clock icon 7 minute read

Heifer USA, the U.S. program of global development organization Heifer International, today announced its new status as an accredited Savory Global Network Hub with the Savory Institute, furthering the organization’s role in bringing science backed methods to improve regenerative, small-scale farms. The accreditation qualifies Heifer USA’s Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas to serve as a training, learning and demonstration site for the Savory Institute’s Holistic Management framework, cementing the organization’s overall commitment to ecosystem health and the fight against climate change.

“The training and services Heifer International provides to farmers are key to building effective systems that can be replicated over time,” said Heifer International President and CEO Pierre Ferrari. “Joining the Savory Global Network enhances our efforts to transform agriculture’s relationship with the natural environment in the United States and our responsibility as global land stewards to create local solutions to land degradation.”

The announcement follows President Joe Biden’s speech at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, the UN Climate Change Conference, which emphasized the vitality of “farmers who will not only help fight global hunger but will also use the soil to fight climate change.” Transitioning the agriculture sector to more regenerative methods will support the U.S.’s commitment to reducing emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030.

“At Heifer USA, we work across the entire ecosystem - from the land to farmers’ profits,” said Donna Kilpatrick, Heifer Ranch Manager and Land Steward. “As a Savory Hub, Heifer USA is applying best-in-class expertise to the farms and cooperatives it works with across the South and making its knowledge available to more farmers across the country. By showcasing the financial and social benefits of regenerative agriculture for farmers and their communities, we are promoting green jobs and sustainable development.”

As one of 33 accredited Savory Hubs across the globe, Heifer USA is establishing itself as a best-in-class agriculture institution that is uniquely positioned to transform rural Arkansas and America’s heartland into thriving, self-sustaining communities. Heifer USA will be instrumental in scaling up regenerative agriculture to meet U.S. climate commitments, training farmers across the country in methods that will generate healthy farmland, while creating more economically viable farm businesses that connect farmers with new markets. By deploying the Savory Institute’s Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV) monitoring protocol, Heifer USA is using Heifer Ranch as a training and testing site and supporting other farms to validate landscape and soil health improvement.

“Having been in partnership with Heifer International for nearly a decade, it is a great joy and privilege for the Savory Institute to welcome Heifer Ranch to our global network of Hubs,” said CEO and Co-Founder of Savory Institute, Daniela Ibarra-Howell. “Their dedication to regenerative agriculture through Holistic Management and their excellence in the implementation of their educational and market programs will be invaluable to their community. Furthermore, it will serve as inspiration to the whole regenerative movement, demonstrating a robust and authentic grassroots model that meets the local needs while addressing the global food and climate crises.”

Heifer USA aims to be able to show that Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative, which the organization helped establish, is tracking regeneratively across all farms and to label some Grass Roots products with the Savory Institute’s Land to Market certification that indicates it was sourced from verified regenerating land. Four members of the Heifer Ranch team are now trained in EOV to do short and long-term monitoring of soil and landscape health on other farms. Kilpatrick is accredited in Holistic Management, equipping her to host other farmers at Heifer Ranch to learn holistic land management, holistic planned grazing and holistic financial planning. Heifer USA will host its first group EOV training in spring 2022 and has already started EOV testing at other farms.

Heifer International

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