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The brown revolution

(article, Culinate staff)

On the Atlantic's website, farming advocate Lisa M. Hamilton recently reported on the so-dubbed Brown Revolution, in which restoration of natural systems — healthy grasslands, marshes, and the like — is the foundation of better farming. (The philosophy is also known as holistic management.)

Bison, for example, co-evolved with their grassland homes. So, writes Hamilton, contemporary ranchers should treat their herds less like livestock and more like wild animals: 

bq. Rather than simply turning cattle into a pasture, these ranchers conduct them like a herd, concentrating bodies to graze one area hard, then leaving it until the plants have regenerated. The effect can be tremendous, with benefits including increased organic matter in the soil, rejuvenation of microorganisms, and restoration of water cycles.

The full article (with accompanying photo essay) digs deep into the rural culture of the West, trying to suss out whether America's ranchers and farmers will really change their work habits en masse. Maybe, maybe not.