How New Mexico Successfully Passed Its Healthy Soils Act
In this on-demand webinar, Didi Pershouse interviews four of the many people involved in helping the State of New Mexico (USA) reach agreement on soil health legislation during April of 2019.
Speakers Christina Allday-Bondy, Jeff Goebel, Isabelle Jenniches, and Robb Hirsch offer a behind-the-scenes look at the six months worth of consensus-building and policy-shaping that they facilitated among very diverse groups.
They discuss the ways that curiosity, listening, holistic policy analysis, and consensus-building practices shaped the positive outcome, the bill HB-204 that passed in the House 48-6, and unanimously passed in the Senate 34-0 in March of 2019.
Didi Pershouse is the author of The Ecology of Care: Medicine, Agriculture, Money, and the Quiet Power of Human and Microbial Communities and Understanding Soil Health and Watershed Function. She is a lead author for the "Future Directions" chapter of the upcoming UN-FAO Technical Manual on Soil Organic Carbon Management, and a contributing author for Health in the Anthropocene.
As the founder of the Center for Sustainable Medicine, she developed a practice and theoretical framework for systems-based ecological medicine—to restore health to people as well as the environmental and social systems around them. After 22 years of clinical work with patients, Pershouse now travels widely in North America and Europe as a speaker, teacher, and consultant.
Pershouse is a skilled facilitator, who brings people with diverging views together into effective working groups with common goals: improving soil health, public health, food and water security, and regional resilience through simple changes in land management. Both online and in-person, her participatory workshops engage farmers and ranchers, policy makers, investors, and scientists in living-systems thinking and deep listening, to allow for emergent strategies. She was one of five speakers at the United Nations-FAO World Soil Day in 2017.
In 2018, she founded the Land and Leadership Initiative, and the "Can we Rehydrate California?" Initiative. She is currently a Planning Commissioner for her town, a member of the Vermont State appointed Payment For Ecosystem Services and Soil Health Working Group, a working member of the Northeast Healthy Soils Policy Working Group and is on the board of directors of the Soil Carbon Coalition and the Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition. She led a successful effort to conserve the Zebedee Headwaters Wetlands while serving as a Vermont Conservation Commissioner.
She is currently working on projects with the UN-FAO Farmer Field School program and the Climate Resilient Natural Farming Initiative in Andhra Pradesh, India (involving over 800,000 farmers). You can learn more about her work at www.didipershouse.com