Our system is designed for global application. While we are expanding and diversifying our poultry-based regenerative agriculture model in Southeast Minnesota, partner farms are applying our standards and practices in three unique ecologies in North and Central America. The pursuit of our mission only starts with the creation of a Regional Food System here at home. It will be fulfilled when our ecological, social, and economic model is implemented in communities around the world. To that end, we are actively developing prototypes of our system elsewhere.
We have established formal partnerships to design and build prototype paddock-based poultry production units with anchor institutions in Guatemala, Mexico, and Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Adapting our model to different economic, ecologic, and social conditions allows us to understand how our principles and criteria can best be applied to create the ideal practices to support success on each farm and surrounding region. Each site presents unique challenges and opportunities. In Pine Ridge we are assisting non-farmers in the creation of a holistic food and agricultural system. In San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico, our process and adaptability are being verified in integration with an established organic vegetable farm, Via Organica. Guatemala gives our CSO the opportunity to use his intimate understanding of the ecology (and culture) of his home to find creative ways of incorporating more native plants and herbs into the system. Mexico and Guatemala provide the additional benefit of building a virtual bridge between the immigrants working the food system in the US and the farmers in their countries of origin. Building this international connectedness is an important element of our success in those regions.
Conventional agriculture operates under the apparent assumption that the same seeds, synthetic additives, industrial farming practices, and crops can be produced globally with a consistent outcome, but the only consistencies have been inequality and ecological destruction. It is a top-down approach to farming that imposes rules without adequately assessing or incorporating the climate, ecology, or the native people who will do the work. Main Street Project has been researching, engineering, prototyping, deploying and growing a food and farming alternative at the systems level, which allows partners to adapt the agricultural model, regional development processes, and support infrastructure to their unique conditions. We promote a cooperative development approach in which we craft the blueprint and share it with farmers who can apply it with the crops, livestock breeds, and ecological and economic systems that work best in their regions.
Domestic and international interest in Main Street Project’s model is booming as we continue the essential testing and research and development work needed to establish the global applicability of a regional, fair, environmentally sound, self-sustaining food system.