Cotton gets in on regenerative agriculture opportunities with national partnership

Cotton and grain crops will be discussed during the Jan. 17-18 Red River Crops Conference in Altus, Oklahoma. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Laura McKenzie.)

A fifth-generation cotton farmer from North Carolina said it’s important to reach farmers where they’re at in order to continue the soil health movement. 

“The soil health benchmarks Soil Health Institute is providing are a great way to help farmers set realistic soil health goals and measure their success,” Zeb Winslow said in a news release.

A nationwide partnership lead by the SHI’s United States Regenerative Cotton Fund is helping to grow sustainable cotton farming opportunities in the country. Their approach aims to advance economic insights, soil health measurement and education. So far, they’ve “made significant progress in the U.S. Cotton Belt with more than 1,000 cotton farmers and advisors involved.”

According to the news release, USRCF was launched in 2021 and is a farmer-facing, science based initiative to support long-term, sustainable cotton production, with the goal of eliminating one million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere by 2026. The following states are active: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.

Boots-on-the ground partnerships with U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, Cotton Incorporated, agricultural extension, local technical specialists, advisors, and cotton farmers make the fund’s work possible.

The USRCF was initiated through a founding grant from The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation. Walmart Foundation, The VF Foundation, Levi Strauss & Co., Hearst Foundations, and Cotton Incorporated are also supporters of the fund. 

For more information about the U.S. Regenerative Cotton Fund, please visit

Kylene Scott can be reached at 620-227-1804 or [email protected].