Regenerative Organic Agricultural Districts (ROADs)

Croatan Institute is developing the concept of Rural Regenerative Organic Agricultural Districts, also known as ROADs, to help agricultural producers and landowners finance soil wealth using land-secured financing mechanisms and other place-based investing approaches. As part of Institute’s Organic Agriculture Revitalization Strategy (OARS), ROADs will unlock new sources of capital for implementing conservation practices for regenerative agriculture.

With support from USDA NRCS, Patagonia, and 20 private sector and non-profit partners, ROADs seeks to accelerate the development of regenerative agricultural systems at a pace and scale needed to stem the tides of soil degradation and rural economic decline. This $2.2 million project spans two years, with activities concluding in May 2022.

Focusing on four distinct U.S. regions, the Institute will research and assess the potential configuration of ROADS and pilot this model in the Upper Midwest, Southeast, Heartland and West Coast.

“We know that dense regional clusters of regenerative, organic operators create tangible socio-economic benefits for farmers and their broader rural communities. However, financing the implementation of this regenerative organic transition remains a challenge that this project aims to tackle head-on in new, place-based ways.” – Dr. Joshua Humphreys, Croatan Institute.

For more information, see the Press Release or Project Summary Flyer.

Project Partners

We are proud to collaborate with a diverse group of 20+ farmers, practitioners, and technical advisors to develop the ROADs concept and innovative place-based agricultural investing mechanisms. Our farm partners include Bender Farms, Crews Family Farm, Oliver’s Agroforest, and 15 Organic Valley Farmers, and 19 Agriculture Capital farms.

Project Outputs and Programs

Croatan Institute Wins Major Award for Soil Wealth

With support from a $700,000 USDA Conservation Innovation Grant, Croatan Institute will lead a two-year $1.5 million project to unlock new financing to expand regenerative agricultural systems and improve rural resilience across the United States.

Read More