GORDON, NEB. — USDA-certified Organic, 100% grass-fed beef company Spring Lake Ranch is working with EarthOptics and Merge Impact (MI) to get third-party insight on its regenerative agriculture program, build credibility for its brand and educate the industry on the benefits of regenerative agriculture.

Spring Lake Ranch said that the term “regenerative” is gaining in popularity in the meat industry, but the brand wants to prove the benefits through science and quantifiable data.

“Using its ranch as a ‘living laboratory,’ Spring Lake Ranch already employs the latest agtech tools including AgriWebb and EID tags to track the impact of regenerative agriculture on animal health and performance, while enabling end-to-end traceability within its supply chain,” the company said. “This spring, the brand will extend its investment in measurement to the land itself, working with EarthOptics and Merge Impact to establish the highest level of third-party trust and credibility for the results of its regenerative practices on the soil and ecosystems of the Sandhills grasslands. Quantified through advanced mapping technology and machine learning, this data will be open-source and regularly reassessed, demonstrating the positive impact of regenerative agriculture in real time.”

Environmental improvement indicators

EarthOptics will assess all three of Spring Lake Ranch’s diverse ecosystems across its ranch — Meadowlands, Uplands (Sandhills), and Choppy Sands — and create baseline measurements of key environmental improvement indicators, including the following:

  • Carbon sequestration
  • Soil organic matter
  • Soil temperatures
  • Species diversity, above and below ground
  • Functional group diversity
  • Canopy heights

“Unlike traditional soil testing, EarthOptics uses the most advanced mapping technology,” Spring Lake Ranch said. “EarthOptics’ remote sensing technologies and machine learning give real-time soil health measurements including carbon, compaction, water, etc. In turn, this helps enable real-time land management decisions without the wait time of traditional lab results. It also enables the assessment of entire fields instead of specific points, which provides a much more holistic understanding.”

Spring Lake Ranch said EarthOptics will continue to assess the company’s ranch regularly to track changes across the environmental indicators.

In addition, Spring Lake Ranch is working with Merge Impact to store the data from EarthOptics.

“From MI’s open-source dashboard, the brand will then be empowered to inset sequestered carbon into its products, or sell them as credits on the open market–creating new opportunities for both the brand and its partners, commensurate with its positive impact on the ranch,” Spring Lake Ranch said.