The Soil Health Institute in North Carolina has received a $2 million grant from the Walmart Foundation, the charity arm of the American retailer Walmart, to assist the growth and development of its directly managed US Regenerative Cotton Fund.
The funds will be used to spread the farmer-focused effort throughout South Carolina and Alabama.
Despite the “huge benefits” associated with regenerative soil health systems, Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation, executive vice-president of sustainability at Walmart, and others spoke about how the adoption of such methods is still low.
The US Regenerative Cotton Fund was established in 2021 with a founding grant from the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation and has so far worked in Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, and Mississippi. In order to achieve soil health and soil carbon targets, among other milestones, it has already formed farmer-to-farmer education networks with more than 100 cotton growers. Additionally, it has sampled soil in more than 200 areas.
According to Ms. McLaughlin, “We are thrilled to sponsor this ambitious project to provide farmers with the knowledge and skills they need to implement more regenerative systems and correctly quantify the benefits of these practices for their land and livelihoods.