Seeds: Celebrating Agriculture with Dan | Editorial
His big breakthrough in first-hand farming came when the owners of Zephyr Farm in Wisconsin wanted to sell their farm, but only to someone who would maintain holistic management. Cornelius was a perfect fit with his background in indigenous agriculture and his desire to implement innovative production strategies: “All my IAC experiences have accumulated to be able to get into farming on my own. I believe finding out along the way made me a better technical service provider. When you apply for your own farm loan and sign your name on that line, it’s a little different.
Cornelius has evolved on his farm from a walk-behind tractor planting one row at a time to now also using a four-row planter. He uses no-till practices and wants to further explore the new expression “regen ag”, sphere. In many ways, the “regenerative agriculture” approach is simply to model nature and work with nature to get the best results for the soil and all creatures, “In many ways food systems have been wiped out and the big question is, ‘How do we get people back to farming?’ I believe the regenerative agriculture movement helps with that.
It was by helping others through his role as AT IAC and learning the ropes of farming himself that Cornelius returned to farming. He has big dreams of expanding his corn production and will continue to farm maple, black walnut and box elder trees, the latter largely unknown to modern consumers. There are also vegetables to grow and sell in the farmers market and he already has some of the fencing for the cattle that he hopes to bring to his farm as well.