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Noble Research Institute Receives 2024 Greenacres Foundation Grant to Further Regenerative Agriculture Research in Pecans

Funds will support Noble’s research on the impacts of regenerative agriculture practices in pecan silvopasture and improving soil health for profitable and resilient systems.

Cows wander and graze through a shaded pecan grove.

Cattle graze in a river bottom pecan orchard on Noble Research Institute's Red River Ranch in Burneyville, Oklahoma. (Photo from Noble Research Institute)

ARDMORE, Okla.—Noble Research Institute, the nation’s largest nonprofit agricultural research organization, has been given a 2024 Regenerative Agriculture Research Grant from the Greenacres Foundation to advance its ongoing pecan-focused research.

The $295,000 grant was awarded to aid the organization’s study of pecan silvopasture and measuring improved soil health’s impact on building profitable and resilient systems. In line with Noble’s goal of regenerating 164 million acres of US grazing land by 2040, this three-year project will contribute to the continuing research focused on the impact of implementing regenerative practices for achieving a balanced and resilient ecosystem.

“This Greenacres Foundation Grant will support research to monitor soil health across a continuum of management practices in producer pecan orchards across Texas and Oklahoma,” said Dr. Lauren Jones, principal investigator on the project and senior research associate for Noble Research Institute. “More specifically, the funds will contribute to systems-level research that we are doing in pecan silvopasture to better understand which agricultural practices lead to improvement in soil health.”

The team will sample soil, pecan leaves, and nuts as part of the project and correlate the data to management decisions and economics. Researchers hypothesize that healthier soils achieved through regenerative management will lead to healthier trees and more nutrient-dense pecans.

The study will address the following priorities:

  • Improving soil health using agro-ecological principles
  • Improving the resiliency of agricultural lands
  • Integrating livestock into cropping systems
  • Understanding the impact of production practices on the nutrient density of food

Locations identified for data collection include pecan orchards on producer properties in Texas and Oklahoma, two of the top five pecan-producing states in the US. This will be Noble’s first long-term study in a pecan silvopasture system where the results will aid not only the pecan producers but also the silvopasture systems.

Greenacres Foundation, a Cincinnati-based nonprofit, is dedicated to advancing research and initiatives that promote a healthier and more sustainable future through active engagement in land preservation, education, and the arts.

To learn more about Noble Research Institute’s current pecan research, please visit

About Greenacres Foundation

Greenacres Foundation was established in 1988 by Cincinnati philanthropists Louis and Louise Nippert in Cincinnati and has since expanded to manage over 1,200 acres across Ohio and Indiana. The foundation embodies the Nipperts’ dedication to land preservation, education, and the classical arts. Each year, it reaches over 30,000 students with its educational programs and actively engages in and supports agricultural and environmental research through grants and its own initiatives, enhancing the well-being of the communities it serves and beyond.

To learn more about the Greenacres Foundation, visit

Author Photo

Noble Research Institute

Noble Research Institute is the nation’s largest independent agriculture research organization and public charity, supporting ranchers and farmers with research, education and mentorship for regenerating soil health to improve their land, livestock and livelihood. Since 1945, Noble Research Institute has been a leading, trusted resource in agricultural research and education dedicated to land stewardship. Demonstrating our ongoing commitment to regenerating our nation’s grazing lands, Noble actively manages 13,500 acres of working ranchlands to provide real-world insights and applications for farmers and ranchers.