Consensus RecommendationsAction AgendaRelated PublicationsWorking Landscapes: Achieving Productivity, Profitability, and Environmental Outcomes
AGree envisions a 21st century food and ag system in which farms and ranches are productive and able to meet growing demand for affordable and nutritious food; farming and ranching are profitable enterprises; soil, water, and biodiversity are conserved and enhanced; and environmental quality is maintained or improved. We believe that American farmers and ranchers have had remarkable success to date in achieving many aspects of this vision. Challenges remain in maintaining and improving soil health, water quality, and habitat in many agricultural regions, and as agriculture moves forward, new challenges associated with a changing climate, shrinking water supplies, shifting dietary preferences, and growing populations must also be addressed.
Strategy: AGree’s Working Landscapes Initiative seeks to set U.S. agriculture more firmly on a path toward achieving our common vision by advancing the following strategies:
- Embrace diverse agricultural systems to ensure achievement of sustainability, productivity, and profitability goals;
- Expand producer-led cooperative conservation across U.S. working lands;
- Improve soil health and water quality and quantity through targeted investments;
- Increase understanding of the overall benefits, costs, and health and safety of agricultural inputs, practices, and systems; and
- Foster collaboration across the supply chain to drive innovation and improved environmental outcomes.
To amplify current efforts and accelerate progress, AGree proposes specific goals that we believe are indicative of the scope, scale, and pace of change necessary to realize our vision. The achievement of these goals will require the integrated pursuit of these five strategies.
AGree’s Working Landscapes Initiative is pursuing two primary areas of work.
1. Drive broader adoption of conservation practices on working lands, while maintaining a viable federal crop insurance program, across the U.S.:
AGree’s Conservation and Crop Insurance Task Force
(CCITF) is spearheading these efforts in alignment with its consensus Principles.
The CCITF’s efforts include the following:
2. Advance Cooperative Conservation: Catalyze and support on-the-ground projects to test and refine the Working Lands Conservation Partnership approach developed through the AGree process. AGree’s efforts include the following:
- Support research and analysis to assess the correlation between soil type and yield risk and ultimately the yield risk impacts of improvements in soil health through the use of conservation practices.
- Advocate – if supported by data – for adjustments to crop insurance ratings to more accurately reflect the correlation between yield risk, soil types, and conservation practices.
- Pursue updates to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s data collection mechanisms with respect to producers’ adoption and use of conservation practices to increase the efficiency of data collection methods and the usefulness of the resulting data, while reducing respondent burden.
- Advocate for specific Administrative changes to the federal crop insurance program that support innovation and level the playing field for conservation-oriented producers.
- Identify places with strong potential and significant need.
- Help connect and convene diverse stakeholders.
- Provide strategic, coalition and institution-building, and project design support.
- Convene leaders from various projects to share learnings, tools, and resources.
- Leverage project successes to effect state and federal policy change (as well as sustainable sourcing program change, where applicable) to support cooperative conservation on a broader scale.