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
We invite you to a Reception Premiering the WI Foodie Show “The Louisiana Connection”
January 12, 2018
Special Event Thursday, February 8th, 6:30 pm – Join us for an edifying and gratifying evening for the soul and taste buds! “The Louisiana Connection” – In this episode of Wisconsin Foodie they travel the Mississippi to examine the effects of farming runoff on fisheries in the Bayou. Margaret Krome of the Michael Fields Institute has been rallying […]
“Crop Insurance – Coming up!”
December 28, 2017
Crop Insurance for Diversified Farms – Whole Farm Revenue Protection Deadline for signups in Wisconsin and much of the Midwest is March 15, 2018. Southern states have earlier deadlines. For more information go to https://www.rma.usda.gov/policies/wfrp.html Crop Insurance for Organic Farming Systems Webinar, Friday, January 26th, 2:00 PM Central Now is the perfect time to think about crop […]
Fishermen Reflect on November Farmer-Fisherman Dinner, Plus a New Video, Radio Interview, AgriView article
December 12, 2017
-Ryan Bradley, Fisherman, and Director, Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, Inc., Long Beach, Mississippi, from a letter to the Sea Grant director who recommended him for our Farmer-Fisherman gathering in November in Wisconsin. “Thank you for considering me to take part in the trip to Wisconsin to meet with farmers and discuss the Gulf Dead Zone […]
How Michael Fields Ag Institute Plans to Plan…two Watersheds in Hilly SW Wisconsin
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute is excited to be working with Iowa County’s Conservationist, Katie Abbot, as we embark on a 9-month long process of nutrient and erosion planning in two sub-watersheds within Iowa County’s Uplands Watershed, following the EPA’s Nine-Key-Element Planning process. In addition to Ms. Abbott, MFAI’s Assistant Policy Director, Devon Hamilton will work […]
Hamilton Elected to Key National Role
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute is happy to announce that our Assistant Policy Director, Devon Hamilton, was recently elected to serve as a member of the Organizational Council, the governance body, of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. The Institute has worked closely with NSAC for three decades; we place a high priority on this relationship, because […]