Washington, D.C., April 20, 2023 – Kiss the Ground, a nonprofit and leading voice for the regenerative movement, partnered up with Woody Harrelson, actor and star of Kiss the Ground the film, for a policy briefing with members of Congress and staff.
Hosted by Representatives Angie Craig and Dean Phillips of Minnesota, with opening remarks from Representative Jim Baird of Indiana, the bipartisan briefing focused on regenerative agriculture and the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill, a cornerstone issue that Kiss the Ground’s Advocacy program is working on via the campaign they launched in 2022, Regenerate America. Congressman Baird, chair of the House Agriculture conservation subcommittee, acknowledged the crucial role farmers and ranchers play in stewarding land: “Soil is a living organism as far as I am concerned. There is a lot more interest today in agriculture in making sure that we have soil health, and I want to commend our farmers and ranchers for that.”
Woody Harrelson with Congresswoman Angie Craig.
During the briefing, Harrelson and representatives from Kiss the Ground and Regenerate America addressed nearly 100 legislators and staff, emphasizing the importance of investing in regenerative agriculture at the federal level this Farm Bill cycle. The Farm Bill, which is passed every 5-7 years, is a massive omnibus bill that covers nearly all aspects of our food and agriculture system, from conservation and commodities to nutrition, and rural development.
As an advocate for environmental sustainability, Woody Harrelson addressed the whole system benefits of regenerative agriculture. He emphasized that regenerative practices not only provide a solution for our soil, water, and climate crisis, but also increase farmer prosperity and yield healthier, more nutrient-dense foods. Harrelson called on Congress to level the playing field for all farmers and ranchers to adopt soil health and regenerative practices: “I know there is a lot of lip service to helping the farmer, but in actuality, how much does it really happen? If you are the people that can make a change, then by god now is a good time–the world needs it, the planet needs it, the soil needs it.”
If you are the people that can make a change, then by God now is a good time–the world needs it, the planet needs it, the soil needs it.”
– Woody Harrelson
Woody Harrelson with Rick Clark after the briefing.
Representatives from Regenerate America included Rick Clark, a regenerative producer from Indiana who previously testified at a House Ag Committee hearing on soil health and regenerative agriculture, who shared that his 7,000 acre farm is more resilient to droughts and flooding while also being more profitable after adopting regenerative practices, due to reduced input costs. Other speakers included Matt O’Hayer, founder and Executive Director of Vital Farms, a pasture-raised egg company that distributes nationally; and Finian Makepeace, executive producer of Kiss the Ground the film and co-founder of the non-profit.
Rep. Dean Phillips with Harrelson, Rep. Craig, & Finian Makepeace.
The briefing also highlighted key policy proposals developed by the Regenerate America coalition, which aim to ensure that the 2023 Farm Bill supports farmers and ranchers across the country as they continue to transition to regenerative practices. The ultimate goal of the coalition is to have 100,000 more farmers and ranchers transitioning 100 million more acres towards regeneration by 2030.
In conclusion, the policy briefing with Woody Harrelson and representatives from Kiss the Ground and Regenerate America in Washington, D.C. emphasized the importance of regenerative agriculture in the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill. The briefing called on Congress to support policies that promote soil health and regenerative practices, highlighting the benefits for the environment, farmers, and consumers alike, with a vision of a more regenerative and sustainable future.