Working Together Toward Common Goals
The Midwest Row Crop Collaborative’s innovative approach and impact stems from its representation from across the agricultural system’s value chain. Members are uniquely well-equipped to respond to systemic challenges by identifying barriers to change and developing collaborative solutions through diverse partnerships and projects. This is achieved through a structure and operating principles enabling members to bring their strongest assets to bear on complex systemic challenges through shared purpose and trusted relationships.
The urgent environmental, social, and economic challenges facing our current row crop agriculture system in the U.S. are complex and interrelated, and cannot be solved in isolation. The Collaborative was founded on the belief that a systems change approach that identifies and removes barriers to change in the system is the only way to achieve the transformation needed at scale. Our members work together within five key pathways for systems change, designing and implementing projects and sharing the insights from what they learn.
Members take advantage of regular opportunities for an insider’s view into fellow member organizations’ approaches and use the space for ideation and problem-solving with their peers in the field. The convenings are used to identify the practices, strategies, and best-suited partners to incorporate into their sustainability portfolios to help accelerate their progress on climate and environmental goals. These robust exchanges also provide members with the ability to leverage the breadth of expertise and sustainability offerings within the Collaborative’s membership to uncover crucial gaps and opportunities for efforts to be most impactful.
Identified as key channels for impact by the Steering Committee, the Collaborative’s pathway-centered work groups are where pilot projects are conceptualized, developed, and refined, and are focused on:
- Conservation finance
- De-risking practice adoption
- Agricultural network engagement
- Creating demand for commodities
- Consumer engagement
Beyond the five systems change work groups, our members participate in three others that are essential to the Collaborative’s operations: metrics & reporting, policy, and communications.
The Steering Committee provides guidance for the Collaborative’s activities, offering insight into the strategic priorities and capabilities among the membership and where their alignment can deliver the highest results for the good of stakeholders across the system.
Each member holds a voting seat on the Steering Committee, which meets three times a year to issue strategic direction and respond to emerging needs within the agricultural system. These convenings serve as opportunities for the members to collaborate in a pre-competitive environment and determine alignment to incubate and test solutions to the systemic barriers outlined within the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative’s Theory of Change.
As a pre-competitive coalition, the Collaborative follows a strict policy that its initiatives fully comply with both the letter and the spirit of all applicable state, federal, and international antitrust laws.
Since 2019, Environmental Initiative has served as the administrator for the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative, bringing with it decades of experience developing powerful partnerships between business and environmental interests, and a focus on integrating impacted communities into solution-building. Environmental Initiative is proud to provide responsive management and leadership that supports the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative in achieving its ambitious mission.