In the wake of the 1930s Dust Bowl, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) partnered with landowners in the drought-stricken Southern Plains to restore land productivity, profitability, and resiliency in the face of environmental challenges. Despite all the best efforts made in the decades since, some areas of the region remain barren.
However, the NRCS declaring a 14-acre parcel of land in Colorado’s rural North Boulder County as not farmable did not stop Nick DeDomenico from founding Elk Run Farm and launching Drylands Agroecology Research (DAR). The land had been untouched for at least 15 years. Host to a prairie dog colony, the land lacked topsoil and biodiversity. Where others saw a prime example of desertification in the region, DeDomenico saw the opportunity to demonstrate the power of regenerative design.
The Woodard & Curran Foundation is thrilled to support DAR’s mission to leverage regenerative design to restore agricultural land and communities with the 2022 Impact Grant. This one-year $100,000 grant will provide key funds necessary for DAR’s latest project: Scaled Agroecology at Yellow Barn Farm: A Model for Rehydrating the Arid West.
“DAR’s regenerative agroecology marries water, soil, animals, and native plants in an innovative and integrative approach to restore arid land to productive agriculture,” said Foundation Giving Committee Co-Chairs Laura Tessier and Samantha Olney. “This systemwide management technique can be replicated widely and is a roadmap for sustainable agriculture in the face of climate change. The Giving Committee was very impressed by the talent and passion of the team at DAR and is thrilled to support this important work.”