Guest Speaker Background:

 

John is a hemp innovator, serial entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist, writer, and champion of regenerative agriculture.

 

As the 1999 founder of the organic superfoods brand Nutiva, he has sourced and formulated $1B in retail sales of organic superfoods in the past 20 years. Through his leadership, Nutiva became the fastest-growing superfoods company on the planet and was named one of Inc. magazine’s fastest-growing companies in America for seven years in a row.

 

He is also an executive producer of the Netflix blockbuster regenerative agriculture film Kiss the Ground, which is narrated by Woody Harrelson.

 

John was blessed to spend his childhood summers on the islands of the Pacific Northwest, where he played among the forests and tide pools. When nuclear waste was dumped nine miles from his California home, John’s ecological awareness was awakened. He began his central life journey: to study natural systems and discover practical solutions to pressing environmental challenges.

 

Over his career, John has founded six non-profit organizations, including Great Plains Regeneration, Agroforestry Regeneration Communities (creating regenerative food forests), and Forests Forever which placed the California Forest Protection Act, Prop 130, on the California state ballot in 1990. His passionate hemp advocacy brought him to sue the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. This long legal battle culminated in a historic 2004 federal court victory to keep hemp foods legal. He is a pioneer of the modern home-composting movement and has authored four books on hemp and composting that have combined sales of more than one million copies. He has been interviewed on numerous radio and television programs and has been widely quoted in the print media—from Wired magazine to the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal.

 

In his leisure time, John enjoys travel, hiking, playing basketball, and soaking in natural hot springs.

 

Talking Points:

  1. Role of Hemp as a rotation crop
  2. Insights about what people often state that hemp need fertilizers
  3. Share more information about ARC, an agro forestry program project in the global south.

 

John Roulac introduced himself and said

 

I tend to follow and focus on projects that, I think, speak to me,sometimes that are hard to do. I mean, Hemp is one of those. And sometimes it gets you in a fair bit of trouble or challenges and, but it’s kind of how I kind of like to roll and I got involved in this region movement a bit. I was, CEO of Nutiva, we were funding a lot of like non GMO and, doing campaigns against glyphosate, Monsanto, we put 140,000 comments on Cheerios, Facebook wall and forced them to remove GMOs from there, because they’re using GMO corn and sugar, like the sugar beet Growers Association of the US or, or North America were upset, I don’t know, if they knew it was I was I was the one that that, was focusing on crater in their market share. But after a while, we decided that, just focusing on that, GMOs are bad, or glyphosate is bad, or big ag,  et cetera. But maybe we could focus on soil health. And I heard a presentation by a great organic farmer named Willow island that’s in Vermont. And he’s got a farm up there in the north, near Dartmouth College on the other side of the river there. And he just, he gave a whole presentation all about the greenhouse gas emissions of chemical fertilizers, the how much food and ag industrial food and ag contribution to climate change or pollution., one of the one of the things talks about that by just thinking about this is that you notice how the environmental movement, we stop talking about pollution, and we only talk about climate change. And it’s really a weakness of our movement. I don’t come across anyone across the political spectrum that thinks pollution is a good idea. But when you talk about climate change, it goes into a political positioning. And, isn’t there an irony, there’s some Facebook posts recently, I saw, there’s 1500 jets parked in Davos, Switzerland, private jets, and they’re gonna tell us that, that we need to eat insect burgers, and change or change our lifestyle. So, the client movements got kind of a bad rap and that in that way, but, so, but in any case, the it was really interesting that back in back this about 2013 14, that when I, when I would go to the natural food shows, Expo West,, when I go to the organic farm, he no one was talking about soil health as an important issue. And when we think about all the legacy load, and all that kind of led me to do this film, because no one How is it that all these organic hippie farmers are not talking about soil health, and they had very little interest in regenerative AG. And literally, you’re like my mentors, you’re like, the ones I’ve been learning at,, since my 20s. My heroes and you’re like, we don’t not going to talk about soil health, just talk about organic, and so that led me to do a film said, we’ve got to do a film and then met the filmmakers Josh and Rebecca and, and Ryan from kiss the ground, and we ended up doing the film kissed the ground, to share the story. And and now I laughed, I read in Bloomberg, they said that the CEO of Cargill says that the hot topic at Davos where, all the all the different leaders and,different investors and, you can have all sorts of opinions on on on what’s really driving them and there’s a lot of things we could go down the rabbit hole will probably probably not do here today. But, as Joe says, probably don’t get me started. But he said that the CEO of Cargill, you, that little agriculture company based in Minnesota, that regenerative agriculture and farming was the big topic, and he’d never seen that ever before. So I kind of left that, this region movement,, from a few 100 of us, eight years ago and now, now people are flying around in private jets to learn about regenerative agriculture.

 

The other thing I wanted to mention is some of the projects I’ve been working on is a great plains regeneration, which is working in the Midwest, in the Great Plains region with farmers and ranchers. So you can learn more about that and then my latest Project is, agroforestry regeneration communities are Ark. And it kind of came out from my work. I have a fund that I support nonprofit projects all over, all over the world. And a couple of them were involved in tree planting projects. And they seem to be doing the best, like or doing very well. And I was excited about it because they’re, they’re creating food for us. So I’ve created an umbrella organization, we’re going to be doing a webinar, June 9. And we put in and we don’t start existing, we don’t start projects up, we work with existing programs. And essentially, we’re taking an agricultural system, I was just talking to one of the people from the farmer’s footprint. Maybe some of you have heard of farmers footprint, it’s a really good NGO. And they were saying how do we explain agroforestry? To the layperson. So I said First off, we don’t call it agroforestry, we call it food forests. So the existing model requires inputs, the small farmers, whether it’s in Malawi, in Africa, that has 16 million 18 million people to Guatemala, where we work with their work that requires right now to grow the food in those countries, and in places all over the world requires lots of inputs, synthetic fertilizers, which Bill Gates is pushing, and it requires other inputs, and requires really ideal weather from the right, the right amount of rain at the right time. And what we do, we’re saying that models are failing. One is, Putin controls 25% of world fertilizer, and he and he’s not going to sell it to the west anymore. And he’s not going to sell wheat, and he’s not going to sell there’s going to be a lot of things that are going to be changing in our system. I find that those who listen to CNN or Fox are very badly misinformed on what’s going on in world affairs today. At our detriment, but the idea is, it requires inputs, or thinking that ships of wheat are going to arrive at the port, and you can just go down to some concrete box and get your food. That’s something that didn’t exist with our great grandparents. And it’s probably not going to exist in 10 to 20 years at our current rate. But the idea back to food for us, is that it essentially mimics the natural forest system. So when you walk through a lush forest are they irrigating it? Is there any irrigation piping through a forest? Are there anhydrous ammonia or urea fertilizers? Are they as are the bears running the fertilizer system with synthetics? I don’t think so. And yet, it’s very lush. So we essentially mimic the forest. And it works very well in the global south because you have more rainfall. And it’s in the tropics, things grow faster. So we can essentially go from an area where it’s essentially a slash and burn monocrop. And just by planting a combination of nitrogen fixing trees, native trees and food producing trees and alley crops, such as ginger, turmeric, pineapple, cassava, sugarcane, we can create food abundance. And we just had a tour in Guatemala with my co-founder, Hannah and several people from the team and some scientists and the people just these, these people are marginalized. They’ve been discriminated against from the Spanish conquistadors from 500 years ago, where they basically came in, subjugated them and stole their lands. And so it’s I feel as a privileged, wealthy Caucasian, that has been very successful in business to be able to support that. So we have 2000 families now that have these food forests in Guatemala. And I got a grant and this is the great thing about LinkedIn one thing I’d encourage you if you’re interested in regenerative agriculture, you want to be on LinkedIn. 

 

I’m basically a deep platform from Facebook and Google; they’re not D platforms, but they’re shadow banning me and making sure none of my posts go viral. But on LinkedIn, I can get a lot more exposure. And someone reached out to me and said, oh, you should reach someone, you should talk to someone, we got a $400,000 grant. So we’re going to plant 500,000 of these trees, about 3000 Food Forests this year in Guatemala. So I feel really good about that. One of the things that we’re doing also is we’re growing cassava as an ally crop, and cassava tuber, many of you probably had cassava chips. It’s very popular in Africa, it grows a lot. We’re now making jackfruit cassava pizzas at a center that we have in Antigua, Guatemala that we recently opened. So Allah, I’ll turn it back to you, Mandy, that’s, that’s a little little my rant here to start with.

 

QUESTION & ANSWER

 

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked a question

  • I want to go back to where hemp fits into all of this? Understanding a lot of the regions and territories and genetics are still being worked out. But I’m kind of curious, from your perspective, what has been your experience with hemp and the benefits to its root structure and carbon sequestration?

 

John Roulac replied

 

I would say, from just a, from more of a permaculture food security issue, I think that hemp would do really well in an alley crop system, in agroforestry, and other crops, especially, nitrogen fixing crops. And, the further you are further to the south, the easier that’s going to be and I think ultimately, just growing the hemp out of even at a small scale, and putting tarps out and shaking the hemp plant and getting the seeds. I think that’s at a small scale, when things become scarce, I think that’s going to be a really interesting opportunity. on a large scale, I mean, Joe and I have been at this for a long time with him. And the challenge is hemp can do a lot of things and I’ve written several books on him back in the 90s. And I’ve been to my, to my fair share of conferences and symposiums from, experts in the hip field to agronomists to leaning fiber companies. And just because hemp can make 25,000 products doesn’t mean you can actually build an industry with those. And so, unfortunately, there’s a lot of what I call hype and hemp, sometimes too much hype. So, like, for instance, because of all the restrictions like for example, Canada, Canada dominates in hemp food, just because we can grow hemp in the United States doesn’t mean that we’re going to all of a sudden grow a lot of hemp for food in the US right away, because because the the economics Canada’s already been there, or they have an advantage of the Canadian dollar. It’s x, and they already have the agronomic and infrastructure. Though I did see an interest in innovative hemp products, I know a revolution hemp is doing some really interesting things by shelling the seed and then crushing it for oil. The results in protein are unlike any other protein powders, I’ve formulated protein powder products, it’s much better than then And then P, the challenges the cost is is very expensive to me the one of the potentials is we need to increase the yield per acre of hemp seed. I mean if you look if we increase the yield of hemp in the last 10 years, what corn has done since the 1950s Hemp would be planted a lot more, I mean corn yields have increased so much so we really need to invest in that. So I see a real opportunity there and then can you create value with the shells with there’s talk about graphene and other other things and but I saw a baby formula company, I don’t know Mandy Have you heard about this, there’s a part about baby formula but there’s there’s a baby baby formula with the hemp protein, this from from,, from that and also with the hemp oil, and MCT oil and cassava and that was interesting. I’m trying to someone someone who just alerted me to it. The other thing is, if you can get the markets right for hemp, but those are challenges with processing hurdles, and an investment etcetera. But one one thing that people don’t seem to be aware of and are here as much as I remember, in England, if you grew up in hemp, and then you follow up with winter wheat. And winter wheat is obviously a big crop, that they were noticing the yield of winter wheat was like up 20%. We need more research and studies on that. Big and I think it’s because of the weed suppression is partly and maybe and maybe some of the other benefits on the EPA and the soil health.

 

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked a question

  • That’s really where I’m curious, Is when you get into rotation, what are we seeing on the effects of the rotation? Corn wheat, and back to the baby formula, the shortage of baby formula? No, we would think that the type of protein that hemp is and as digestible as do is that we would have it in baby formula.

 

John Roulac said

 

There’s a lot of regulations restricting that but yeah, there’s some interesting opportunities there. But I’m not quite sure how this company has gotten through. I don’t even know if it’s even being sold in the marketplace, but they have a formulation.

 

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked a question

  • So can you speak a little bit to that rotation, working it in and the rotation and maybe what is needed to really gather the data or what is the data that’s missing to really bring it to scale hemp to scale for purposes of increased yields and soil health itself compared to these?

 

John Roulac replied

 

I’m just going to see if I can see this company is called humble MBA l. That’s the baby food company with the hemp Hamble. I don’t know if it’s, if it’s on the market, they’re out of Joplin, Missouri. Just got a text on just got a LinkedIn message this morning. Yeah, maybe somebody can put it in the comments. And I have no idea. I just have no idea what their status is, if they can even sell it yet, because there’s a lot of issues around the formulation. The other thing, the other shortage is guess who controls 90% of the world’s sunflower oil, Ukraine and Russia. And that’s and that’s not coming into the formula products now. And yet, not hardly the New York Times or CNN or NPR will not talk about that. So so. So let’s respond to you. They talked about what I remember in some of the literature, and I don’t know . I wrote a book called Hemp Horizons which you can buy used. I wrote it in 1997. But in a way, I mean, things have changed. We didn’t know about CBD, but they’re still the same issues. So you can if you want if you’re interested, you might want to Google that. Yeah, it says handles only for export only. Yeah, yeah. Probably because of the regulation, the FDA, but a lot of the research showed that hemp was really considered a really good break crop and to cleanse a field of weeds. It’ll outrun Johnson grass. The key thing is to get water in the first few weeks if you can get some moisture, it’ll outrun Canadian thistle, etc. So it’s ideal there because herbicide, weed issue, weed pressure is a big issue. So I think it’s got some good potential there. But again, it’s only going to be effective if you have a market to sell it. And that’s, and that’s, those are some challenges there. But as for weed control, rotation, it gets really good. And that’s got some bad, it’s got a deep tap root. And it also keeps the soil cooler and moist, because it’s not grown and it’s covered the whole field. And, the leaves are high in nitrogen. So it’s, it’s kind of like that leaf fall, it’s kind of like a mini little forest ecosystem, where it’s falling there. The big thing, though, is I think the challenges are yield, we need to increase the yield your your, unless you increase the yield, in my view, hemp is not going to be a significant crop in the US. And you have to, if you can increase the yield by 50%. It would be a game changer. I mean, it’s literally just, when you shell it’s just the yield is so low from shelling, and then the cost is so high. And also, I think you need the I don’t think you need the pedigreed seed, some foundation needs to come in and just say we’re gonna make we’re gonna make planting seed available, not at a very reasonable price point. That’s what we really need. You can’t, I don’t know what it costs right now. But, if you’re paying, been out of it for a while, but if you’re paying $1 or $2 for the seat, dollar 50 for the planting seed

 

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked a question 

  • $4.03 or $4 for CBD?

 

that’s like a non-starter economically, that’s just not very, very good. It’s just too expensive. And if it’s a bad crop, if it’s like a drought, and it doesn’t make it you’ve just made a huge investment. So really, you got to find one of these gazillionaires to fund the seed breeding and make the seed available at a reasonable price. I’m seeing some questions about the grain so yeah, the seed or the grain. It’s got good protein. It’s technically not a complete protein but when I’ll just maybe I’ll be politically incorrect one of my competitors Manitoba harvest, put it out as a complete protein and then everybody started repeating it. But when we did the studies that na HC and other groups did, didn’t come out as complete protein, it’s close, but not not really a complete protein. And, that’s one of the things when you make misleading claims just to gain advantage in the marketplace comes back to bite you and so people don’t take that movement as seriously because of those things. But it is very good, Edison the protein quality is, is as important as quote the complete protein the Edison protein, albumin protein is very easy to digest. It’s also very rich in magnesium, zinc and iron, which most Americans are shorting. I mean magnesium is involved in several 100 biochemical processes,And so, it’s got a lot of potential but again, hemp it’s not like it’s not like a hip crop anymore back in back when I was working 10 years ago, everybody, like, Well, you got a bag of hemp seeds. That was a big thing, it’s not as not as much today in seed, some some some pointers, I would say. So I’ve been a little bearish on hemp for fiber, that I would say in the last year, year and a half things have started to change because of the shipping costs of fuel because of other fiber shortages etc. Hemp economics are starting to get a little better. I think someone said he disagreed and the fiber fiber issue depends on the market segment and end user barrier of entry. Use of our regenerative cotton and hemp fiber increased our cogs by less than 16 cents per convention material. Okay, that was clear. Good comment. They’re up. And but again, if you can, if we can take cost out of the production, which is better yields and lower lower seed seed costs, pedigreed seer, planting seed. That’s going to make a big difference.

 

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked a question

  • But since hemp is a buyer mediator, there’s a lot of conversation about hemp being organic if it’s for food, animal feed textiles for human contact, can you speak a little bit about the differences between regenerative and organic practices?

 

John Roulac replied

 

One of them, it’s, it’s interesting, like people say, well grow, grow hemp, because it’s a bio remediator it’s gonna clean up your fields. But if you’re growing your hemp in contaminated fields, where do you think those contaminate? Where do they end up, in the seed? We got, so there, there can be higher and, and it’s not 1850 anymore. So there’s higher levels of, of like, have like, maybe not, I don’t know about cadmium, but definitely iron and certain things. Rice is similar to that. So you have to, what the quality of soil is. But it definitely accumulates what’s in there in terms of the difference between organic and regenerative. So that can be a long conversation. Organic, primarily, talks about what it doesn’t do, doesn’t use synthetic fertilizer, doesn’t use pesticides, doesn’t use herbicides. And, ironically, and I wouldn’t have said this 10 years ago, but farmers that are organic, a lot of times their soil health is worse than farmers who are no tilling, that are still using agricultural chemicals. That was like, wow, people don’t want to admit that. I’m not a fan, not a fan of Roundup, not a fan of synthetic fertilizers. But so as Ray Archuleta likes to say, the no tillers need to spend time on spraying less, and the organic people need to tell us, and maybe we can meet in the middle. And that’s what ROI that’s what ROI. What’s his net ROI? There’s an Indiana farmer Clark. I’m trying to remember, his name is 6500 acres of organic no till, crops such as corn, soy, etc. Rick Clark, Eric Jackson. So if you want to really learn about a different way of farming, he’s phenomenal. So yeah, definitely learn about hemp.

 

regenerative is when a farming system has accumulated carbon? Yeah, you’re adding organic matter. One, one interesting thing is, for every 1% increase in organic matter in the soil, guess how much water stored anywhere from 20 to 25,000 gallons per acre, we could be storing trillions of gallons of water. This is not rocket science. And the irony is, they’ve been talking about the soil, we’ve been talking about the soil health, since the 90s 80s. And it’s still treated as some new thing. Definitely, we need to do better, the simplest thing would be to pay farmers to do a cover crop. But instead, we’re going to get into some convoluted carbon counting, which, there’s less opportunity to store carbon, and drier soils and in drier areas, versus other areas. And you can goose the carbon and then change it after the counting. It’s going to create a lot of issues. But unfortunately, in Washington, DC, it’s not policy is not based on logic and reason. It’s based on money and power. There is a movement to try to change that called regenerate America, how many people have heard about regenerate America, maybe you can tag, maybe you can put that in the maybe a link to it, and this is part of the kiss the ground project. And we’re working and one of the benefits is they got a very conservative Republican or conservative leaning member of Congress in Iowa. Can’t remember his name. And Ray arch we got him and Ray arch let it go out in the field and kiss the ground and regenerate America set this up. And after that, he was very, like very interested. He was like, wow, because a lot of these people in Washington DC, they’re, they, they’re there because they got elected and they raise a lot of money. And, big ag is part of that. But at the same time, they have kids, they have grandchildren, they they don’t want pollution, they may not necessarily agree with the world is going to come to an end because of climate change, but and so if we can reach out to them, and, the great thing about regenerative agriculture, it’s not a blue state issue. It’s not a red state issue. It’s not a conservative issue. It’s not a liberal issue. It’s not a it’s not a tea party issue. It’s not a woke issue. it’s a, it’s a it’s a, it impacts all of us, and it’s bringing together a lot of interesting people. So, regeneration is the future. There’s a great book, Joe Hickey. I mean, Paul Hawken wrote on regeneration, you may want to check it out. I was I was gonna give you a shout out, Joe. But, but and I see someone else said, the, the, it also has a big deep taproot. Yeah. So yeah, so can break up some of the hard pan soil, the taproot which is really good. What’s your take on biochar and the benefits towards regenerative farming? It’s interesting. Two years ago, if you would have asked me, I said, there’s a lot of people who either love it or do not like it, it’s kind of controversial. And I just, it was something I didn’t really focus on. Like, as, as a subject or a specific area, I’m kind of a generalist, and I know a lot about little, which can get me into trouble, I mean, I could talk to a science about soil health, but a certain point that, they’re they, they can, they can really get into the, into the weeds on that. So, in, I think biochar has a role to play. Actually, one of the, where I live in Washington State, one of the farmers got a $30,000 machine to take x, we need it, we have a lot of excess fiber from from tree trimmings and tree things. And they’re putting like one part, biochar making a soil amendment with three parts compost and two parts,

 

Small forest debris, I’m actually working on a on a on a, on a CPG lawn and garden project, just kind of as an ideation, we haven’t launched it or anything, and I’m looking to put 10% of the mix in with biochar and 5%, worm castings and some humates. And essentially, if it kind of, people say it kind of creates, it’s like building a condominium for the critters for water. So, that’s, that’s some benefits, with with biochar, maybe man, you can put also the link bar agroforestry regeneration project and again, we’re gonna have, we’re gonna have a we’re gonna grab a product here, we’re gonna have a workshop on webinar on June 9. And one thing I want to show you look, look at this right here. So this is a liquid product made from almond shells in the Central Valley of California, California. And basically, it’s a proprietary process called corrigin. And they make biochar and then as a byproduct, they get this liquid. And it’s kind of you’ve probably heard of wood vinegar, some of you so it’s more refined and it’s, it’s very high in phenols. And it’s very good for plant growth, and it can help some disease plants and plant stimulation. I’m associated with an organization called Penny Newman. It’s a billion dollar a year company in California been having some discussions and know some of the people there they’re going to sell 100,000 gallons of this this and this is based on a circular economy taking a crop you grow take the byproduct you can’t use the shells, convert it through a circular bio based system and and sell 100,000 gallons to almond growers and pistachio growers, tomato growers to stimulate growth.

  • Does that work similar to help or does it help as I’ve heard a lot of discussion around seed wash and or or organic pesticides that have a vinegar base, is that related at all?

 

John Roulac said

 

I mean, it’s a phenol, that ‘s it, right now, there are bio based products that can deal with the issues, we feel agriculture, nature has the answer, nature has the answer. Oh, here’s a couple of good things I want to riff off. Eric Jackson missed opportunities, that region of space to be connected between soil health and crop nutrient density, from a very good point. There’s a lot of, there’s a lot of work on that in the bio nutrient Association, as has been researching this for years. But the more nutrient dense, so when you when you when you, our farmers really should be our doctors, and they’re really supplying they’re helping, if you treat the soil well, that’s going to result in a better product. If as we like to say,healthy soil equals healthy plants, healthy plants, equal healthy animals, healthy animals, healthy people, healthy oceans, healthy climate. So it’s all tied in. So there’s more nutrient dense foods and if you take care of the soil, we’ve forgotten about that. Definitely need to do that. And then here’s someone from 40,000 acre shareholder, Natasha Wallace in Uganda, getting started. Focus on coffee, mushroom, cacao, cassava. Yeah, we have some projects in Uganda. And we would love to, to connect up with you. So if you go to agroforestry.org, there’s actually a section called allies on our website, and you can fill that out, and then we can learn what you’re doing. So we’re, we’re always looking, we need more farmers to do this. One of the one of the potentials also and it’s a little controversial is nature based, funding through carbon carbon credits, so I’ll just gotta just share with you my thoughts on that. Two or three years ago, I’m like, they’re just going to create this scheme for carbon credits can allow polluters to continue to pollute, and like many like Ray Archuleta, star in the film, and my friend lives in Missouri, and he and I are not big fans of carbon trading, we think we should pay people for planting cover crops. But,, in the 1990s, Al Gore and the UN, summit back in Rio, they decided to get very banal,, kind of like, like, narrow in on this carbon and not paint and, ignore biodiversity ignore soil health, ignore water flows, ignore, some of those things, and it is what it is, so, we’re running with it, and the, in the major investors, so, about a year ago, I decided to kind of change my tune the, in terms of carbon credits, the reality is if you look at the at what we’re gonna, what we’re gonna,

 

Release and carbon greenhouse gas emissions, the next five years, I estimate, we’re going to increase it by 6%. If you take the legacy load that we have whatever’s in the atmosphere that’s baked in, that’s causing all these challenges, we’re going to increase it by 6%. If you put a Elon Musk as the czar of the world, and everyone had to do what Elon Musk said, or what he could convince you, and you We doubled down on electrification, or maybe we did hydrogen, we told gazillionaires, that if they’re going to fly in their jets, they’re going to have to invest in in soil advocacy, I mean, a lawn could come up with very, very creative, we’d be lucky to get to a 4% increase. So if we did all these amazing programs in five years, we’re going to increase emissions by four instead of six. It’s essentially a rounding error in what we do. And this is like my environmental friends in the climate movement and a lot of people are gonna get very upset when I say this, but what we do in terms of burning fossil fuel, and we’re now we’re just with War, Russia just burned his drill, baby drill, and we’re going to do more natural gas. We’re going to do giant, huge facilities to compressed natural gas, shipping on oceans, burning more fuel, all this stuff. But it’s not going to matter what happens to droughts, and extreme weather events in the coming five to five to six, seven years. And we know it’s accelerating the one future, the one where we can actually start to really make a turnaround is nature based and restoring nature. So in my view, if you want to know if Salesforce or Microsoft, or Shell Oil, they realize they can’t cut back their emissions very fast. They want to tell you this, but the reality is they really don’t have a plan to cut it back. We’ll be lucky if we cut it back by 10% in the next five years. And it’s actually going to increase because of the geopolitical and war things going on. That if they want to take that money and put aside, hundreds of billions or trillions and invest it in planting mangroves that, sequester carbon four times faster than that, then then tropical forests, and if they want to invest it in a holistic grazing and restoring grasslands, there’s a gentleman named La Khandro. That’s in Chihuahua, Mexico, and they’re now able to have 10 times the amount of cows running the land. They’re bringing back streams that they haven’t seen, since his grandparent grandfather told them, they’re seeing more grass. And we can do that, we can invest in those kinds of things, we can invest in crop rotation, we can invest in agroforestry. But instead, what are we doing, we’re putting 99% in a green techno utopia, future, a, basically at a late stage capitalist model that’s crashing, that’s exploding, that has we’ve created war on nature, we’ve created such a dysfunction that 18 year olds and 20 year old young men walk in and start shooting, little kids, we’ve and, and, you can make all the gun laws you want. But we have to address the sickness and the depression that we’re facing. It’s because we have a system that is immune to all of this. I’m not saying anything new, all of you go here, but I’m just I’m, I can’t be canceled, I can say these things. I don’t care what, what, what, some of my friends, my, a lot of my liberal friends don’t like when I talk about this, but we need to change how we live. And if we destroy nature, of course, people are going to feel there’s not a good future. And Regeneration can do that. And in 10 years, we can really go but when are the gazillion airs gonna get to do this. So I think potentially this carbon credit system has the potential to fund that. And so those are some potential things there.

  • How do we make these types of investments that are necessary, sexy to investors? 

 

John Roulac said

 

Here’s the problem, let’s just kind of just kind of like, I’ll just give you the unvarnished Silicon Valley would rather spend, $50 billion on fake, meat like impossible. And beyond that only, I mean, they’re investing right now a billion dollars in some solar company they never sold, they’ve never sold one product, and it’s negative margin. But you see, they can put it through Wall Street, they can put it in through their private equity funds, they can monetize it, it’s, but to say, we’re going to invest now, in regenerating nature. If you can’t, if it’s not IP protected, and you can’t monetize it, so easily, they’re not going to do it. And so those with the money, they want the return, really what it’s going to take, I believe we need gazillionaires and billionaires to say that 50% of their net assets are going to go for things that restore nature. So I’ll say as a millionaire, I put a third of 40%, or 50% of my assets, and those kinds of things are more. That’s what we need. And so like, if you could say, give me if you could say I’ll take, I’ll take a 2% return, and we’re going to buy farmland and restore it. And we only want a 2% return. That it’s going to take those kinds of things, but also potentially, can accompany things like a Salesforce or Netflix or an Amazon that wants to be more socially responsible, invest in these regeneration through carbon trading systems. But the verification system is very expensive. Like them you can’t even like our agroforestry projects that don’t even qualify, but at some point, they will, So, investing in the supply chain, Jennifer said what a concept. Right now, if you’re a farmer in America, and you want to sell your wheat, there’s like five buyers for wheat. That’s it, there’s elevators, they control, it’s a monopoly. Same way with beef. So foundations don’t want to invest in the middle system, the infrastructure that we need, that’s what we need, we need, we need a next generation of wheat processing. I mean, I went down the rabbit hole and investigated that for a while. So yeah, and someone said, talking about legacy in nature, yes. So yeah, it’s, we can’t do that. Another one said, Stephanie, they can’t eat their money. But you see, they’re brainwashed. You see, we live in this. I mean, I’ve noticed this. when I was since I mean, one of the reasons why I’m kind of outspoken into this thing. When I was 11 years old. I was thrown out of my classroom for St. Christopher Columbus didn’t discover America. And so from that point on when they when they I was thrown out, and I said, like, look, the Vikings were here 400 years ago, and I didn’t I hadn’t read, I hadn’t read about the fact that Native Americans were, they were really here 1000s of years, so I just I haven’t believed that I essentially, it’s like a massive brainwashing in society that’s gone on. Our parents were brainwashed or grandparents, y. And, it’s so effective that the CIA created Q anon to create the most radical people to come up and say that there’s this conspiracy, that power structure is brainwashing people and manipulating the media,, and then the answer is Donald Trump. So, like, it’s, it’s, it’s hard to crack the system. But I believe at this point, as the western model starts to decay, and break down, local communities are going to be left on their own, and we have to build the infrastructure. So start working 100 miles from your house, 200 miles that and or support, I’m supporting other projects in the Global South. That is easier, but the social, economic and political systems in the United States are very hard to crack. And we’re just a dysfunctional society, but wherever. But I’d also like to say wherever there’s danger, there’s opportunity.

 

Brandon Kulow asked a question

  • So you’re saying they don’t see them as viable unless they’re philanthropic efforts?

 

John Roulac said

 

We need a reduced rate of return. But you see, the thing is Bill Gates and all these other gazillionaires, they’re saying they’re gonna give away 50% of their fortune. But the 50% they give away isn’t a foundation that they’ve been then reinvesting in Monsanto. And then they, and then they invest in fake meat. And then they give money away to two major NGOs that weren’t like Amazon gave away $100 million to five NGOs in America. And virtually none of that goes into regenerative AG. It’s almost like you can’t invest in regenerative AG. And, and be invited to the cocktail parties today. Or even talk about it. It’s crazy. Now that’s starting to break up. And I talked to gazillionaires. And I’m involved in, with billionaires and on deals. But, they want real economic return. Because it’s literally, I mean, I’ll say something that may not sound too good, you’re not gonna like this. The people who are very wealthy today, they say, the ones who are worth, like, 10 to 50 million. They spend $10,000 a day when they go to Europe. And what, they’re not satisfied with that. They want to spend 50,000 A day, they want bigger jets, they want better castles, and they want a nicer sailing yacht that they can go to in the Mediterranean. And that’s literally where it’s at. So some of them are waking up. And well, they wake up in time to shift,this crashing system. I think the other thing is that Russia, this Russia Ukraine event, this proxy war, the US and Russia are fighting. Remember, 30% of all the wheat is controlled by Russia and Ukraine. Set 90% of the sunflower, I’m like the fourth or fifth exporter of corn, 25% of the world’s fertilizer and 50% of neon gas. How many of you have heard of neon gas? I asked this to everybody all the time. Virtually even when I talked to sophisticated investors they never heard of it. It’s required to manufacture every computer chip in the world. Guess who controls 50% of neon gas in the world, eastern Ukraine. Guess who supplies the raw material to make it Putin? Guess how much they produce in the last 90 days zero. Guess how many months of supply the world chip, the chip manufacturer is not controlled by China. They have six months supply as of a few months ago. So we’re facing economic dislocation, every manufacturer from John Deere to Tesla to Amazon servers is facing a moment of chip shortages. They’re gonna have to lay off people. But what this is doing is old timidly this war is making people understand their local supply chain, their local water where they’re getting their food. So it’s going to shake people up. And it’s going to make people figure out how we get our food system locally, because we may not be able to depend on going to a Costco, big box store. I know I kind of threw out a lot of stuff there. And some people say, Well, thanks, John, for giving me the information today. I think I gotta go. So but that I see the I mean, I kind of geek out on these things, but the fact that how is it that the American public, nobody, even it’s sophisticated, but I was talking to someone who manages $250 million? He’d never heard of this before today? How is it that the central computer agreement in the United States and England and Germany, we developed an international manufacturing system, and the one ingredient that,that that,, is controlled by Putin in Ukraine, and we went to war, and we’re trying to destroy him, and we didn’t even have a plan B. That’s how dysfunctional Joe Biden is, or, or, or, taught Donald Trump and the people around him, they’re like, you’re going to, not even have a plan B.

 

For your raw materials to make computer chips that go in everything from toasters to Tesla. So essentially, there is no one who’s in control at an adult level. Unfortunately, today, the system, the Americas, is a decaying empire. We used to be like our people who are American, our grandparents, great grandparents, we fought in wars, and we built a great country. And, and now we, we’re, it’s like, we have all this abundance and all that abundance creates weak people. Because everything is handed to him. I was just talking to someone today who worked for a natural food company yesterday, and it’s like, does a $500 million a year and they said, why don’t we buy broccoli? Why don’t we sort work with the California broccoli people? And let’s work with it,, he said, No, we’re gonna get it from Ecuador. Whoever’s got the cheapest broccoli, the millennials came in and said, Give me the cheapest broccoli, we’ll buy that from Ecuador. We’re not gonna invest in our local supply. And they weren’t and they and they go, We’ll get more we’ll get we will make more money and I will get more I can put more money in my 401k. So it comes down to greed. It’s one of our challenges.

 

Neil Havermale asked a question

  • A dominant portion of the working lands in the Grain Belt are worked by tenants paying rent to landlords. Carbon credits for sequestrated carbon is like investment in deferred maintenance with the opportunity of tax incentives?

 

John Roulac said

 

One of the challenges is that small farms have been the lands that have been taken away. And it’s either larger farmers or some more institutional farmers. And yeah, they those those, people like Bill Gates as the largest farm, I mean, I just found out there’s some gazillionaire in Bellingham, Washington, this buying up all the local farmland, that’s that support, that’s in our, in our Skagit Valley, I just found outso, yeah, that’s, that is an issue and some that they’re going to monetize that and that’s not going to benefit the farmer. One thing I will say though, a lot of these farmlands in the middle of the country are, they’re gonna have to park their tractors and their combines. And they’re going to have to go back to pasture. So, we need to stop growing grains in eroding,low, lower rainfall areas. And we need to restore the great tall grass and the medium grass prairies and bring in hoofed animals, like Buffalo and cattle. And in three years, as Ray Archuleta says you can, you can bring back the natural mimicry of biomimicry of the land and you’ll get back to the native grasslands. And, and that’s, that’s our best source of protein. instead of,drill, desking and growing peas to ship around the world to make fake burgers. Now. Now, those are gonna have a role but I think, I think regenerative agriculture systems, but the problem is, you have you have you’ve convinced people, environmental organizations on people on the coasts, the what I call the woke left, I’ve been along anti progressive and liberal. But I almost think that the liberal dominant thinking has gone insane And they and they believe that cows are evil. they’re basically cow racists, sheep racists, and that and have cows and sheep done some bad things. Yeah, well,, like, they’re almost kind of like Joe Biden, like talking about,and, Hillary Clinton talking about, young black men as predators, so we, y you when you start classifying entire species or races, you’re kind of going down the wrong path. So that when you bunch the cattle up and you move from pasture to pasture, but we don’t, we don’t do that. But I think we’re going to need that to restore lands because we can’t depend on this rain. I mean, when you look at what’s going on in eastern eastern Colorado in western Kansas, it’s very tough right now because of these crops, India’s having a problem, India just stopped and just banned export of wheat. And so definitely, definitely important. Oh, yeah. When the pandemic started, I told my sister to buy plants for the garden. Now they think I’m psychic. It’s not super power. It’s logical.

 

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked a question

  • If you are not planting, and if you are not growing, you are behind?

 

John Roulac said

 

Definitely important. Here’s what is your advice for those trying to move markets for Regenerative Ag in going after catalytic capital? I think getting the right team, the right people, it’s all about people. So I think there’s a real opportunity to, to, like, reach out to people who are semi retired, people in their 50s or 60s that have experience in CPG and ag that want to participate. don’t don’t have your team all be old white men. Whenever I get a business plan, when there’s five men that are all in their 50s or 60s, I go, don’t think this is going to turn out too. Well. We need more women leadership and more bipoc. And they bring diversity. It certainly helped me a lot to run Teva. doing that? Talking about buffalo, buffalo are also excellent. And there’s a lot of projects going on around buffalo. They’re great. And they don’t eat some of the native native herbs and buffalo. They actually they, they, they turn over and they rub their back. And they create these divots that the water holds. Interestingly, there’s a program in the dry lands in Africa, where they’re digging holes, like, maybe like, six inches deep or something like that. And maybe,, maybe the size of a car. And they’re doing that all over and that and that’s capturing the rainwater and, and slowing the flow and helping, helping percolation. And they’re restoring large areas that way. Very cool. Yep. Yeah. And the other thing is, I think grains are going to be the key to survival. So I’d encourage all of you to where, where you can grow something special, like wheat, oats. And, and get with and try to get like, like, I wanted to put in a local processing facility in Kansas. And we couldn’t raise the $2 million to do it. Because zillionaires wouldn’t back me I’d sold a billion dollars with organic foods, but they’re like not not,maybe I didn’t pitch it to the right ones, but definitely getting access to that, we could supply 25% of our calories when things get really tight. So I mean, I think there’s going to be this food crisis coming in the next few years. And, and if the if, if the scenario I see is either, Ukraine, beats back Russia, here and the next two or three or four or five months, which I think is a, which is a low possibility, or they do a regime change, low pot, very low possibility. If that doesn’t happen, and they decide to fight a war for the next couple of years, and there’s a reason why Henry Kissinger has just said that we should do a peace treaty with Russia right now, even though everybody I mean, it’s, when you have people who are killing you and stealing your lands, it’s hard to do a treaty it’s easy for maybe for us for to say that. But if this war continues on, essentially it’s going to crater our economy, because Putin’s mind the harbors and he’s and he’s not allowing these grains and things to move. If that happens, it’s going to get very serious here in the next couple of years, because we’re just short of food, we can’t even get baby food, baby food number one ingredient, oil and baby food is sunflower oil. It’s not just an FDA shutdown. So, definitely look at it. And there’s, there’s a mill in Oregon called the Impact mill, it costs about $150,000, you need other material around it, it’s much better than stone mill, it’s lower labor cost. I’m a big fan of that. But you should definitely be getting grains processed in your local regions. And, also in Africa, cassava can be in and in Central America, you it’s a replacement for wheat. So there’s a lot of potential for cassava. for that. So we need to grow more, more material, more food and, and, and work with work with the resources and people we have. It’s definitely gonna be some hard times, but we’re gonna get to know our neighbors more. And it’s better to focus on that now until when the crisis hits.

 

There’s also someone who says, what about the ground gluten allergies? What’s your alternative? Wheat? Yeah, yeah. And I’m in that category. I don’t have a severe gluten allergy. But I have a significant, decent one. When you grow the ancient versus the heirloom varieties, like turkey red, there’s another one and one in the Sonora white. And people don’t seem to have the allergens issues with it, not celiac, but I also komoot. They have a different gluten structure. So modern wheat that was developed since the 1940s has a higher gluten level. And then they have, so the sensitivities in my view is the increased gluten levels and the destruction of our biome in our bodies from Roundup and glyphosate. But these other air heritage varieties have less of an issue so you can grow the yields about 50%. So that’s something to look at.

 

John Roulac added and said

 

I was just talking to Joni, I was interviewed on her podcast and she’s really focusing on regenerative grains and in northern Idaho. But some of these other varieties, these gluten free varieties. Also, I’m big fan of mung beans. Mung beans is a great crop to grow. And you can store it a long time. Interesting. And check out our film, check out the coming film won’t be called common ground. It will be out next year. Our agroforestry regeneration committees webinar June 9, SEO can plug into that and yeah, just keep up all the good work everyone’s doing and I appreciate you having me on today. You can follow me on LinkedIn. That’s where I post a lot of things and also also Facebook. And I have a sub stack maybe you could put in my sub stack as well. And they definitely want to host some screenings. It’ll probably be out sometime. the end of next year. We’re still they’re still working on that. But substack I write a lot of different articles I also talk about the pharmaceutical agenda. I’m not anti vaccine but I’m for science not for authoritarianism. So, but appreciate again the chance to talk and keep up keep up the good work and and and let’s let’s get more organic regenerative hemp growing and other crops.

Mandi Kerr
Author: Mandi Kerr