Growing Healthy Soil and Communities

A note from Sallie Calhoun on 7 years of NoRegrets

We are now almost 7 years into the No Regrets Initiative, and I have been doing some reflecting, partially prompted by an update of the NRI website. When we started work on the site 7 years ago, conversations around healthy soils, regenerative agriculture, and climate change were rare. One of our main goals was to highlight the significance of soil as a carbon sink that could be important in climate mitigation. We created a primer to share many of the resources that we knew of about healthy soil, which we had been unable to find anywhere else. Our target audience was philanthropists and investors because of the small amount of funding that was flowing into the space. To say that the world has changed would be a dramatic understatement.

Regenerative agriculture and healthy soils have moved into the mainstream conversation, both inside and outside of the ag world, in ways that we did not anticipate. Talk is everywhere – from giant food companies, to nonprofits, to large ag chemical companies, and the USDA. There is widespread understanding of the importance of soil as a carbon sink and rapidly changing scientific understanding about the complexity and ecology of soil. There is much interest in moving capital of all types to support this transition. We never anticipated that the talk would get so far ahead of change on the ground, which is moving more quickly than we ever anticipated, but still has a very long way to go.

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Economically, ecologically, and socially, our relationship to land and nature is a profound human touchstone.


Soil is a bit of a magician. It has the ability to re-balance the carbon cycle beyond reducing emissions, in a way that benefits the oceans and agriculture; it can ensure that the water cycle is thriving, and prevent the dangerous extremes of flooding and drought; it can build the nutrient content of food and take a truly holistic approach to food security. We’ve fallen in love with soil and its capacity to solve the majority of our ecological destruction problems if treated well.


The #NoRegrets Initiative is a Regenerative Assets Strategy that deploys human, ecological and financial capital toward soil health and its effect on climate change. Our mission: to improve soil health and grow soil carbon in the agricultural soils of North America. We believe that life on this planet is beautiful and worth supporting, and landscapes are more interesting in relationship with people. We hope this website inspires you to consider the use of integrated capital and the importance of soil health in your work. We hope you consider joining us.


“Because diverse life on the planet is beautiful and worth doing something about; and because landscapes are more interesting in relationship with people.” — Sallie

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