Free Range Farming
Regenerative LAND MANAGEMENT using Free Range grazing ruminants
Regenerative Agriculture is a term coined by Australia’s Charles Massey who best describes the system as
“Regen Ag is an approach to farming that enables the landscapes to renew themselves”
There are five main systems that a land custodians, graziers and farmers must actively encourage and promote to successfully farm regeneratively.
- Solar Function
- Water cycle
- Nutrient cycle
- Social System (Human interaction)
It is only when these systems work together that Regeneration of land areas can occur.
Industrial farming dominates the ecosystem, while in Regen’ Ag the aim is to inject diversity then let nature sort out its own complex systems. The idea is to introduce the ‘ingredients’ then leave nature to do the rest uninterrupted.
Regen Ag covers and incorporates many farm management systems including organic, biodynamic, holistic management, cell grazing and Natural Sequence Farming to name a few. In fact, all of these systems have elements of Regenerative Agriculture in them but often focus on animal management and or land management separately and not the farm as a whole whilst managing the landscape.
While Regen’Ag is still in its infancy within the Ag sector, there are many farmers watching the early adopters with interest. The long-term benefits of conversion are now documented and research is continuing. There are numerous examples across the world of farmers and land managers adopting regen ag principles and increasing stocking rates and profits over the long term whilst seeing an increase in biodiversity amongst plants and wildlife to support land regeneration.
Ruminants are a tool used in regen Ag to manage grasslands to mimic the movement of large herds. (Think migratory animals in Africa and the Americas) There is obvious evidence that using high numbers of stock on smaller areas for short periods, then resting that area for long periods results in greater more vigorous growth of plants due to the soil disturbance, natural fertalisation, trampling of organic matter and of course the trimming of the plant by the well managed mouth of animals.
Ruminants are a vital tool in the sequestration of carbon back into the soil via photosynthesis within the growing plant.
At the Free Range Butcher, we always seek out Regenerative Farmers or those that have a larger interest in the ecosystems they manage rather than the commodity they might selling.
All of our beef and lamb is grass fed and finished, our pork and poultry is always free range and where possible pastured. Both poultry and pigs are fed a grain ration to supplement their diet from grasses and foraged nutrients and proteins.
No matter the farm management system our animals are always feet on the ground
Our idea of Free Range is animals in the open, feet on the ground, eating grass and sleeping under trees. Essentially an animal free to do as it pleases and display its natural behaviors.