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
MFAI Joins O-GRAIN for Small Grains Field Day July 21
July 12, 2017
2017 Organic Field Day: Diversified Organic Grain Rotations Friday July 21st, 2017 –9AM-2:30PM Bickford Organics 6346 Reed Road Ridgeway, Wis. 53582 This FREE OGRAIN field day includes tours of 2 farms and a free lunch. Learn about: • Large scale small grain production, processing, and marketing • On-farm grain storage 101 • Farming for water […]
“Science & Civics: GMOs in Wisconsin” Panel Discussion
Monday, July 24, 2017, from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM Discovery Building 330 North Orchard Street Madison, WI 53715 There is an impassioned public controversy surrounding GMOs—and much confusion. The topic is especially relevant in Wisconsin…
Michael Fields takes GULFS into the Classroom!
July 11, 2017
MFAI’s Assistant Policy Director, Devon Hamilton, spent three recent weeks piloting lessons from MFAI’s GULFS (Growing Urban Leaders in Food Systems) curriculum with the PEOPLE Program, a pre-collegiate and college scholarship organization based at UW-Madison. Each summer, middle and high school students from Madison, Milwaukee, and various other cities involved in the program leave home […]
NCR-SARE Announces 2017 Heroes
June 16, 2017
NCR-SARE is pleased to announce that Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant of Greenview, Illinois, Ferd Hoefner of Takoma Park, Maryland, and Margaret Krome of Madison, Wisconsin are being honored as 2017 NCR-SARE Heroes. Coordinated by the NCR-SARE Alumni Organization, this recognition honors the leadership, vision, contributions, and impact that these heroes have made in sustainable agriculture.
MFAI Supports USDA’s Rural Development Programs
Michael Fields is one of now nearly 600 groups nationally that have signed a letter to House and Senate appropriators, urging them to reject the Trump Administration’s plan to remove the position of Undersecretary for Rural Development as part of the USDA reorganization. The letter also urges appropriators to leave funding for USDA’s rural development […]