When you purchase regenerative beef, how do you know it meets all the criteria necessary for this designation? One way is through the Savory Institute’s “Land to Market” program, which bestows Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV) status on those producers meeting its robust scientific metrics.
The EOV protocol connects conscientious buyers, brands, and retailers directly to those farms and ranches verified as regenerating their land. This protocol creates the first, and currently only, outcomes-based verified regenerative sourcing solution for the food and fiber industries.
For those seeking regenerative sourcing, Land to Market offers a full-circle solution. That circle consists of the farmers and ranchers receiving the designation, as well as the brands and retailers receiving access to verified regenerative products. It fuels the increase in consumer demand for regeneratively sourced items. Finally, and critically, it regenerates the land.
At Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed, we are proud participants in the Land to Market program, and our regenerative agriculture practices have EOV designation.
EOV measures major ecosystem functions. The metrics are customized for the particular ecoregion, as each one has unique characteristics and biodiversity. EOV implementation is performed by its worldwide regional hub network.
An EOV accredited monitor visits each farm annually to conduct Short Term Monitoring (STM.) At least ten sites spread throughout the acreage are monitored. Forage quality and quantity is assessed. Farmers or ranchers provide information regarding the number of livestock, management activities, and any secondary production. Positive results mean renewal of verification.
Every five years, an accredited monitor performs long-term monitoring (LTM). This includes soil carbon sampling, biodiversity, and water infiltration. Lagging indicators assessed via LTM can detect structural changes in the land base and track ecosystem process functionality.
Again, if the positive trends of the STM are confirmed, verification is renewed. Farmers can train to become accredited monitors and conduct STMs on their own farm as well as those of farmers in their ecoregion.
EOV provides regular feedback to farmers, so they can make better management choices. Regional hub managers help farmers with implementation support and other services to improve land ecologically.
EOV was developed in a collaborative, global effort with top soil scientists, agronomists, and ecologists as well as regenerative farmers and ranchers. Savory hub Ovis 21 led EOV’s scientific methodology in conjunction with scientists at Michigan State University and leading research institutions around the world. The plan is to create a huge global database for grassland and ecosystem health that can assist policymakers and markets.
Its methodology addresses outcomes in:
Ecosystem function involves water and mineral cycles, energy flow, and community dynamics.
Those practitioners demonstrating positive trends are eligible for inclusion in a Verified Regenerative Supply Roster. Participating buyers, retailers, and consumers are assured the products came from a verified regenerative land base. The program is a win-win, as it gives farmers tools for continuous land improvement while allowing them to pursue growing market opportunities.
There are other regenerative agriculture certifications in existence, but they are based on process rather than outcome. Most of these certifications are little more than an inventory of the processes farmers and ranchers use. Just because participants are using these tools does not mean the desired regeneration actually occurs.
Outcome-based results depend on actual practice and tool management. It’s a bottom-up, producer-driven process. However, EOV is not designed to compete with other types of certifications, but to complement them. The goal is to provide farmers and ranchers with the tools and information necessary to markedly improve ecosystems worldwide.
When you order 100% grass fed, grass finished beef from Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed, more than nutritious meat arrives in the package. These animals consumed a grass-based or forage diet for their entire lives. The way they were raised contributes to soil health and carbon sequestration. The meat is free from antibiotics, growth hormones, and other chemicals. Enjoy a fine meal while supporting regenerative agricultural practices.
It may just save the planet.