Pictured Above: Soil Health Academy instructor and co-founder Ray Archuleta (right) demonstrates the impact of conventional agricultural practices on soil resources during a recent three-day school in North Carolina. With its new, nonprofit status, the Soil Health Academy hopes to help even more farmers and ranchers make the successful transition from conventional ag practices to more profitable and environmentally friendly regenerative ag practices. (Photo by Ron Nichols)
FT. PAYNE, Alabama – After a full year of providing education and support to help farmers and ranchers transition from conventional to regenerative agriculture, the Soil Health Academy (SHA) announced today that it has become a federally recognized, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
“We believe SHA’s newly acquired public charity status will allow our organization to more quickly and effectively help farmers successfully grow healthier soil, food and profits,” said SHA President and co-founder, David Brandt.
SHA’s three-day schools feature instruction by Brandt, Ray Archuleta, Gabe Brown, Allen Williams, Ph.D., Shane New and other technical consultants, all of whom are widely considered to be among the most preeminent pioneers, innovators and advocates in today’s soil health and regenerative agricultural movement.
As a nonprofit, Brandt said SHA will be better positioned, long-term, to deliver programs and services to help farmers make the successful transition from chemically dependent conventional farming methods to nature-mimicking regenerative methods.
“By receiving direct, charitable funding from philanthropic entities looking to support regenerative and climate friendly agricultural practices, we hope to significantly scale up our educational efforts, for which there has been increasing demand,” Brandt said. “We’re especially excited about partnering with a wide range of entities to expand our scholarship program for historically underserved farmers and ranchers, as well as our ‘train-the-trainer’ and multi-media educational programs.”
Brandt said SHA’s educational model has been effective because it delivers on-farm experiences for producers and also provides on-going support as they implement the principles learned at the school. “Because of that approach, SHA was recognized as a ‘top solution in action’ in the 2019 Philanthropic Action Guide: Healthy Soils to Cool the Planet publication,” he said.
Brandt added that while SHA’s nonprofit status offers new opportunities to partner with organizations to address pressing environmental, climate and family farm economic issues, its primary goal will remain the same. “SHA will continue helping farmers first understand, and then effectively apply, soil health-improving regenerative agriculture principles on their own farms and ranches—all of which will improve family farm profitability and revitalize rural economies across the U.S.”
“Nature gives us the tools,” he said. “SHA shows farmers and ranchers how to use them successfully.” For more information about SHA, visit www.soilhealthacademy.