Cornell University

This is a past event. Its details are archived for historical purposes.

The contact information may no longer be valid.

Please visit our current events listings to look for similar events by title, location, or venue.

Putting Carbon in Its Place with Regenerative Farming and Biochar

Monday, June 17, 2019 at 4:00pm to 7:30pm

Leland Lab
42 Caldwell Dr, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

“Putting Carbon in Its Place” will feature two efforts focused on sequestering carbon into soil to benefit agriculture and the environment.  Kiss the Ground Co-Founder, Finian Makepeace will show his new documentary “A Regenerative Secret” and talk about the work being done in California by Kiss the Ground to promote Regenerative Faming and how New York could be involved. In addition, members of the Cornell Pyrolysis Laboratory will discuss how this technology can convert waste streams into soil friendly Biochar.

The evening will start off with a tour of the Pyrolysis Laboratory and an overview of the benefit of biochar, a solid, charcoal-like material formed by heating biomass in the absence of oxygen through a process known as pyrolysis. Though not a fertilizer, when biochar is applied to soil, it boosts fertility by helping to retain water in the soil when it is dry, promote drainage when conditions are wet and retain soil nutrients. In addition to members of the Pyrolysis Laboratory others will be on hand to address the need to monitor waste streams to prevent toxins from entering the soil along with the biochar.

Kiss the Ground is an education and advocacy nonprofit whose mission is: “inspiring participation in global regeneration, starting with soil”. They are a leader in the regenerative agriculture movement. Their Media program creates general awareness and consumer demand through films, social media, a self-titled book, and a documentary. Their Education program works with schools and teachers to implement soil-centric curriculum and helps brands and businesses invest in sourcing from regenerative agriculture. When more carbon is stored in the soil as organic carbon, it improves soil’s ability to grow crops, reduce erosion, and hold water. It also reduces the amount of CO2 present in the atmosphere, which helps reduce global warming.

Finian Makepeace, who grew up in Ithaca, will first work with Fay Benson with the Cornell Organic Dairy Program and the NY Soil Health Trailer to demonstrate some of the benefits of increasing carbon in soils, including: stronger soil aggregates which reduces soil erosion going to our lakes and streams, better nutrient cycling though increased biologic activity, and increased water holding capacity to store water for times of drought and to slow the movement of water after heavy rainfalls. The group will then move inside to hear from Finian about the work on regenerative agriculture and view his new video, “A Regenerative Secret.”

The meeting is free and open to the public. Please RSVP by email to or by going to:

Meeting Agenda:

  • 4:00 - 5;00 Tour of the Pyrolysis Laboratory and discussion on future projects to turn waste streams into beneficial Biochar.
  • 5:00 - 5:45  Demonstrations with the NY Soil Health Trailer
  • 6:00 - 7:30  View Kiss the Ground documentary, “A Regenerative Secret”, followed by comments and discussion led by Finian Makepeace on next steps towards a regenerative agriculture

Google Calendar iCal Outlook
Event Type

Special Event, Presentation


CCE Central NY Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops


organic, sips, fieldcrops





#carbon sequestration

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Fay Benson

Contact Phone



Finian Makepeace

Speaker Affiliation

Kiss the Ground

Disability Access Information

Please contact to arrange for disability accommodations.

Open To


Recent Activity

Event Registration Required

This event requires registration.