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Local farmers harvest hope for more sustainable future

PUBLISHED 14 September 2023
Source: Shawanda Jones | WCBI

OKTIBBEHA COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – “Way too many farmers are in debt,” said Allen Williams.
Agriculture Researcher Dr. Allen Williams is a sixth-generation farmer who said the grass can be greener and more profitable in a healthy pasture.

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“We have more extreme weather patterns that we have to deal with as farmers so that can make things tough. We have a pretty difficult economic climate that we’re dealing with the input cost of practically everything that we have to deal with in farming and ranching has risen dramatically in the past three to four years,” said Williams.

Williams specializes in regenerative farming.

He said this modern way of grazing works with nature instead of against it.

“The whole key here is being able to farm more in synchrony in nature. And we call it, rebuilding, revitalizing, restoring ecosystem function,” said Williams.

Williams said today’s crops are different from those grown half a century ago.

He said the loss of top soil and soil function have contributed to that.

“Over the last five decades plus, we have seen a significant decline in nutrient density in our foods. So one of the things that we’re doing and actually documenting through our scientific research is that this method of farming is actually rebuilding significant nutrient density and nutrient richness into all the different types of food that we’re producing,” said Williams.

According to Williams, regenerative farming allows plants to absorb the nutrients from the soil rather than rely on chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

“If you start looking into what we call regenerative agriculture and the help it made for farmers and families worldwide, they can truly see the impact of how they can provide a better quality of life for their family and their consumers,” said Williams.

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