Coleman Rainey

Coleman Rainey

PhD Student

How can agroecological movements regenerate soil, cultivate food sovereignty, and works towards liberation? Using a combination of field experiments, community farming projects, educational programs, and laboratory work, Cole studies how the ecology of soil is imprinted by the social movements that form them. A combination of biochemistry, geography, and social anthropology help define the ecological and social functions that govern food systems. In the urban context, this has focused on soil carbon, water conservation, and biological activity of productive urban farms that meet the food needs of marginalized populations. The Gill Tract Community Farm and Oxford Tract are critical land sites for this work, and necessarily involve studying land use policy, offsetting high operating costs, and fostering experiential education. Thanks to the organizing of farmers interested in no-till agroecological management, we have connected urban farms with farmers in rural areas, bridging cultural, racial, and socioeconomic divides. In partnership with organizations MESA, CAFF, and Black Earth Farms, Cole will create a community science network capable of evaluating how no-till agriculture impacts the sustainability and wellbeing of farming communities. This participatory action reason again focuses on soil as an indicator for sociological drivers and leverages changes in agroecological movements and management to drive social change.