No single policy is designed to address all aspects of sustainable agriculture, and many serve farmers who would not characterize themselves as sustainable agriculture adherents as well as those who would. But taken as a whole, policies help move the nation’s agriculture toward a more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable future.
Our policy program empowers citizens to use democratic processes to direct government resources to support sustainable agriculture’s many objectives. For example, Michael Fields coordinates the national sustainable agriculture movement’s annual grassroots campaign to obtain funding for sustainable agriculture programs. We meet with agency staff to encourage proper administration of programs we have helped create and improve.
They might be federal marketing programs like the Farmers Market Promotion Program or Conservation Stewardship Program. Or possibly policies such as measures to reform the direct farm payments in the federal commodity programs.
In Wisconsin, we advance programs such as the new Buy Local Buy Wisconsin program and Farm to School program, whose legislative passage Michael Fields coordinated and led. We also promote managed grazing, bioenergy, new markets and opportunities, local food, agricultural innovation, and the next generation of farmers.
Michael Fields also works to build the capacity of the sustainable movement. For example, we cultivate new leadership through our policy internships, build the grassroots power base that helps our movement achieve its many victories, and offer grantwriting workshops to help farmers and ranchers nationwide access federal programs’ resources.
Latest Public Policy Posts
NRCS Announces Second EQIP Signup for 2019 Funding, Apply by May 17, 2019
March 6, 2019
Wisconsin farmers and landowners can apply now for a second round of USDA conservation funding. Angela Biggs, USDA-NRCS State Conservationist, announced farmers and forest landowners interested in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program need to apply by May 17, 2019, for funding in 2019. Applications are being accepted at all USDA Service Centers in Wisconsin […]
Cover Crops – Crop Insurance Survey
February 9, 2019
MFAI is working with others in Wisconsin and elsewhere to explore the possibilities of creating a program in Wisconsin similar to one created in Iowa in 2017 that offers a crop insurance premium subsidy for farmers who plant cover crops. We are circulating a very brief farmer survey to assess the value to farmers and […]
MFAI’s Role in Supporting National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
February 8, 2019
Starting October 1, the Institute has been pleased to have our Policy Director, Margaret Krome, recruited to serve as Interim Coalition Director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, headquartered in Washington, D.C. “NSAC’s work is deeply important to our nation and our world,” says Krome. “Supporting its superb staff, working with NSAC’s Organizational Council and […]
Mini-grants for Sustainable Ag Educators
February 7, 2019
Do you have a sustainable agriculture project in mind that just needs a little funding to get off the ground? The Wisconsin SARE Program mini-grant program may be your answer. The deadline to apply for this cycle of mini-grants is Wednesday, February 20th, 2019. You can find the application form and information about the mini-grants […]
Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grant Application Period Now Open
February 6, 2019
MADISON – Farmers and businesses involved in Wisconsin’s food industry who are seeking to grow their local markets are encouraged to apply for 2019 Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin producer and processor grants. Managed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), the grants can help farms and business more efficiently produce, process, […]