REGENERATIVE COTTON PROGRAM

Regenerative agriculture is one of the greatest tools and opportunities for reversing the effects of climate change while increasing soil fertility, replenishing fresh water, and improving human health. The Citizens of Humanity Group’s Regenerative Cotton Program works directly with farmers in the United States and abroad and supports the growth, education, and adoption along the continuum of regenerative agriculture.

Please join us in a Regenerative Future!

Our Regenerative Cotton Program supports farmers in their practices to be efficient regenerative farmers and reap the benefits that come from a healthier soil with year after year improvements. Support from our program includes teaching the farmers how to adopt the best regenerative farming methods and practices. Financial help for farmers comes in different ways – from help in acquiring necessary equipment and biological materials, to the cost of testing the crop, to price subsidies.

Our program is designed in partnership with Advancing Eco Agriculture (AEA), a reputable regenerative farming consultancy company with 15 years of expertise in the regenerative farming industry. The program is monitored by Jessica Chiartas of Soil Life, which provides scientific advising and consultation for farmers, ranchers, non-profits, businesses and brands seeking to monitor the impacts of agricultural management on soil carbon, soil health and overall ecosystem services.

Our US-based farm partners are all recognized by the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol and are accredited with AEA’s new data-driven standard for growing regenerative cotton, Integrity Grown™. Integrity Grown™ is a pioneering verification and regenerative standards initiative, aimed at fostering transparency and vital regenerative practices within the cotton production sector. Every farm undergoes an annual in-season verification process, regardless of where they are on their regenerative journey. The Integrity Grown™ standards mean integrity in the cotton growing process, promising assurance to the consumer and the supply chain overall.

HOW DOES
REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE
HELP THE ENVIRONMENT?
  • Improves soil health.
  • Decreases soil erosion and water runoff.
  • Regenerative agriculture sequesters carbon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide, the most commonly produced greenhouse gas.
  • Heightens resiliency to storms, drought environmental stressors, and climate disasters.
  • Improves water holding capacity within soil.
  • Improvements in water quality which produces healthier aquifers, wells, lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans.
  • Improvements in water infiltration, which is the downward entry of water into the soil, to reduce local flooding and stormwater runoff. This results in less money spent on emergency services for erosion control, flood mitigation, and flood damages.
  • Improvements in air quality, such as reduced soil particles blowing through the air - which can reduce asthma, reduce toxic chemical exposure, and cause less diesel to be required when we reduce tillage.
  • Improvements in local climate that lower the heat island effect, which contributes to higher daytime temperatures, reduced nighttime cooling, and higher air pollution levels.
HOW DOES SOIL HEALTH
AFFECT THE HEALTH OF THE
REST OF THE PLANET?
  • Improvements in water quality produce healthier aquifers, wells, lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans.
  • Increased profits for farmers lead to more money going back to the local community, which improves community well-being.
  • Improvements in biodiversity can lead to increased tourism, with some regenerative farms being magnets for birders and other wildlife enthusiasts.
  • It creates an abundance of healthy local food, improving the local individuals’ health. With more people shopping at farmers’ markets, sharing recipes, and meeting neighbors - you’ll find an increased sense of community.
  • Improved land quality generates improved land value.
HOW IS REGENERATIVE
AGRICULTURE DIFFERENT
FROM CONVENTIONAL
FARMING?

It’s VERY different! Regenerative agriculture can reverse the effects of climate change while increasing soil fertility and improving human health. In addition, it reduces carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and grows organic matter in the soil by sequestering carbon through increasing photosynthesis.

Conventional farming incorporates many harmful practices, like monocropping, tilling, chemical inputs, minimal to no animal grazing, and more. These practices strip our soil of living roots and essential nutrients, reducing organic matter, biodiversity, and water-holding capacity. These effects make our soil more vulnerable to flood, drought, and erosion while compromising nutrient density.

WHAT IS THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE
AND ORGANIC?
“Regenerative agriculture is the process of restoring degraded soils using practices based on ecological principles.” It requires managing a farm or a ranch by considering the interactions among the soil, (water, plants, animals, and humans). It focuses on outcomes and actual improvements to soil health and the overall quality and health of the land including the soil, water, plants, animals, and humans.

THE BENEFITS OF REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE

  • Increased soil organic matter and biodiversity.
  • Healthier and more productive soil that is drought- and flood-resilient.
  • Decreased use of chemical inputs and subsequent pollution.
  • Cleaner air and water.
  • Enhanced wildlife habitat.
  • Carbon captured in the soil to combat climate variability.

With regenerative agriculture, producers are not just sustaining the current land, they are improving what is there, leaving it better for the next generation!

The question that commonly comes up is, “How is regenerative agriculture different from organic practices?”

“Organic” is a labeling term that denotes products produced under the authority of the Organic Foods Production Act. When an individual goes into the grocery store and see’s the organic label, they can know that this is a product that has been produced under a strict set of standards overseen by the federal government.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture had defined “organic” as “a production system… that responds to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical processes that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biological diversity.”

In order for a farmer, rancher or food processer to market their product as “organic,” they must prove that they followed all “organic regulations” These rules dictate what practices and substances can and can’t be used. For example, organic farmers cannot use seeds that have been genetically engineered. They also cannot use most synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.

While buying organic food can assure you that the land on which it was grown was managed without the use of most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, the label itself cannot tell you whether the health of the land is improving.

ABOUT
INTEGRITY GROWN™

Integrity Grown™ Cotton is a verification and regenerative standards initiative by Advancing Eco Agriculture to promote transparency and vital regenerative practices in cotton production.

HOW IT WORKS

Each farm goes through an in-season verification process every year, no matter where they are on their regenerative journey. The grower is awarded, or in some cases deducted, points based on the practice or the input being assessed.

Integrity Grown™ Cotton measures the following key data points:

  • Pesticide Use
  • Herbicide Use
  • Fungicide Use
  • Plant Growth Regulator
  • Synthetic Fertilizer Use
  • Tillage Events
  • Cover Crop Use
  • Non-GMO Seed Use
  • Use of Beneficial Biology
  • Nitrogen Efficiency
  • Compost Use
  • Livestock Grazing
  • Soil Carbon Testing
  • Soil Biology Testing
  • Pesticide Residue Testing

Explore the comprehensive Integrity Grown™ Standards HERE

FARMERS

OUR COTTON IS WORKING TO REGENERATE A CAPACITY FOR STEWARDSHIP.

We (as a society) need more farmers to be stewards of their land. We must help in this very important endeavor. To do this, we need to play our part in motivating the farmers. They cannot do it alone. We must do our part, and our part is to provide know how, and financial support.

That is why our Regenerative Cotton starts with supporting our farmers. Support will include teaching the farmers how to adopt the best regenerative farming methods and practices. Financial help for farmers may come in different ways – from help in acquiring necessary equipment and biological materials, to the cost of testing the crop, to price subsidies. The Cotton program will be monitored by AEA and it’s verification standard, Integrity Grown™, to assure compliance. Based on location, soil structure and other factors as well, no two farms are exactly alike and must be treated accordingly. That is why our program will take an individual approach with each farm to determine and create how we best support the path to healthier agriculture.

All of the farmers in the program will be certified annually by Integrity Grown™ to confirm that they have complied to the appropriate standards.

TIMELINE