Our collective well-being—and survival—depends on our ability to produce and distribute nutritious, affordable food. As we imagine possibilities for doing so, we ultimately depend on two main foundational assets: the health of our natural resources, and the financial viability of farming itself. Though the day-to-day economics of agriculture and the unknown effects of climate change undoubtedly create challenges, we also have an opportunity to shape a future that ensures a sustainable food system.
The AGree Economic and Environmental Risk Coalition (AGree Coalition) creates a bridge between positive environmental outcomes and profitability for farmers and ranchers. Representing a diverse range of interests, our members include researchers, academics, farmers, former officers of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and NGO leadership. Together, we advocate for common-sense policies that protect both natural resources and farmers’ livelihoods.
The Coalition actively promotes these policies: we develop recommendations, lobby Congress, support the USDA’s implementation processes, and lead strategic communication efforts. We work collaboratively with seemingly disparate groups, focusing on practical, research-backed solutions that advance our shared goals.
Supporting farmers in adopting conservation practices, alongside maintaining a viable crop insurance program, is a key focus for the Coalition. In 2018, we successfully advocated for several key provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill:
- Stronger USDA data management systems, which would give researchers the ability to study how conservation practices impact crop yields, farm and ranch profitability, and environmental outcomes—while protecting producer privacy; and,
- Improved federal guidance on conservation practices that will facilitate their widespread adoption.
The Coalition works according to consensus guiding principles that lead us forward, supporting our success to date. Since 2013, we have produced influential research and analysis, actively engaged with USDA and Congress, and established trusted relationships with key agricultural leaders across the country. As the food and agriculture sector evolves, we will continue to build on these strong foundations, creating systems that support our vital food producers—and protect the land that makes their work possible.
The AGree Coalition grew from the foundational work of AGree, an initiative designed to elevate food and agriculture as a national priority. We are housed within the Meridian Institute, a mission-driven nonprofit consultancy that builds understanding, guides collaboration, and drives action to address our world’s complex challenges.