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 opposes House Farm Bill
May 17, 2018
Michael Fields joined over 500 organizations nationwide in opposing the version of the 2018 Farm Bill that, as of this writing, was passed by the House Agriculture Committee, and is headed to the Floor. (Lists of others who have signaled their opposition can be seen here. There are myriad reasons to oppose the House bill. […]
New Guides Help Organic Producers Access Federal Programs
May 16, 2018
OFRF has developed two new guides to help organic producers navigate the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) offered through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (USDA-FSA). The guides provide an overview of the programs, information on applying, contact information, and a glossary […]
Join us for a unique dining experience in the Beautiful Brown Barn!
May 9, 2018
Friday, August 24, 2018, 6:00 pm 2nd Annual Farm & Sea Conservation Dinner Enjoy fresh Gulf seafood, farm fresh produce, organic wine and local beer! Celebrating Wisconsin Farmers and Gulf Fishermen working together to conserve the ecosystems and water quality of the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico. This important conservation project was featured […]
What the 2018 Federal Spending Bill means for Sustainable Agriculture
April 11, 2018
On March 23, President Trump signed the federal government spending bill for Fiscal Year 2018. This Omnibus bill (meaning, covering all separate appropriations bills within it) took multiple attempts to be negotiated and renegotiated, and it’s just short of 6 months after the ostensible deadline for passing spending bills. However, it delivered major triumphs for […]
What’s Moving on the 2018 Farm Bill?
April 7, 2018
The 2018 Farm Bill is primed to race from the stage of quiet paddling in the contemplative sloughs of drafts bills and individual congressional meetings to the stage of trying to stay afloat in rip-roaring political currents. The House Agriculture Committee released its proposed Farm Bill on Thursday, April 12 and is expected to schedule […]