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
Senate needs to prevail in farm bill negotiations
July 10, 2018
The U.S. Senate passed its farm bill 86-11 at the end of June, following the House’s having squeaked out passage of its own deplorable version, 213-211. Both houses’ actions reflect the importance of getting a bill passed quickly, before the current farm bill expires on Sept. 30, without becoming ensnarled in election-year campaign politics. Six […]
Join us for an edifying and unique dining experience!
Friday, August 24, 2018, 6:00 pm There are a few seats left! Get your tickets today! Enjoy fresh Gulf seafood, farm fresh produce, organic wine and local beer in the Institute’s beautiful Big Brown Barn! Celebrating Wisconsin Farmers and Gulf Fishermen working together to conserve the ecosystems and water quality of the Mississippi River […]
Senate Farm Bill Update
June 14, 2018
On Wednesday, June 13, the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee voted out of Committee with almost unanimous support its version of the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill doesn’t accomplish everything we would have liked, but it’s a dramatic improvement over the cynical House bill on virtually every front, from beginning farmer provisions to conservation, crop insurance, […]
Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Food Summit
June 11, 2018
In May, Assistant Policy Director, Devon Hamilton, was invited to attend and volunteer for the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Food Summit in Tama, Iowa, hosted by the Meskwaki Nation. He spent his time between workshops learning about indigenous conservation practices and volunteering in the kitchen, working with nationally recognized chefs on indigenous, sustainable food to feed […]
Strauss Brands Environmental Stewardship Commitment
With more than 80 years of experience in restaurants and grocery stores, Strauss Brands offers grass fed and finished beef. Strauss is built around the quality of their meat, the humane treatment of animals and providing environmental sustainability through their growing network of American family farms. Strauss became a supporter of MFAI in 2017, after […]