From Concept to Reality
Welcome to the first Savanna Institute (SI) newsletter! On a monthly basis, we will keep you informed on our progress, provide helpful resources, and keep you updated on news and events happening in the movement.
As some of you may be new to SI, here is a little background on our story. The concept of an organization like SI has existed in the minds of ourboard members for quite a while, but it was not until the stars aligned last summer that all the pieces came together. SI was formed in 2013 as the Midwest daughter organization of the Restoration Agriculture Institute. Our vision is an optimal and resilient agriculture industry, inspired by the savanna biome, widespread throughout the Midwest. Within this broad vision and widespread movement, our mission is to empower industry stakeholders to support, adopt, and enhance resilient agricultural practices.
Currently, the primary mechanism by which we enact our mission is through the Savanna Institute Case Study Program, in which we work directly with farmers to establish new Restoration Agriculture systems in the Midwest. Without much marketing or outreach, we were able to obtain seven farms as part of the 2014 Case Study Program. That is seven farmers and landowners willing convert their land today to Restoration Agriculture and contribute their time to help us study these systems.
This is not an easy process, and we greatly commend our inaugural case study farmers for being true pioneers. Without them, SI would not be what it is today. For more details on the farmers taking the challenge to revolutionize agriculture, visit the Meet the Farmers page on our website.
These on-farm case studies will help us learn more about the economic, environmental, and social benefits of Restoration Agriculture, along with the current barriers to adoption and the top-priority research areas. In order to facilitate interaction between the case study farmers, we have already brought them together for a round table dinner discussion with board members and set up a forum for them to share ideas and best practices.
SI has many exciting things coming in 2014. This spring, we will see our inaugural round of case studies become planted, and later this year we will have our second set of farmers ready to go. We already have many farmers interested in being part of the 2015 Case Study Program! Please check our website to keep updated as we move forward.
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Thank you for your support!
The Savanna Institute Team