Industrial agriculture feeds the modern world but its practices, such as monocropping and use of chemicals, have caused significant damage to the environment and food supply. Regenerative agriculture, in contrast, is a set of holistic farming practices that is gaining in popularity as a method for not only increasing crop yields but also renewing the land. Business inputs vary greatly between the two: industrial production requires more complex machinery and external inputs, while regenerative agriculture relies on the Earth’s natural processes, but is dependent on additional labor costs.
This case explores a U.S. farm founded in 1866, White Oak Pastures, and the business acumen of current proprietor Will Harris III. Students will analyze the organization’s financial costs and risks, environmental impacts, change management, and potential for growth with innovative revenue streams.