Good public policy is foundational to a resilient, healthy, and vibrant agricultural system.
Our Policy Principles
- Healthy soils as a basis for ecosystem and farm resilience
Management for the health and productivity of soils is the keystone of water quality, reduced GHG emissions, and the productivity and resiliency of farms. MRCC members support government policy that incentivizes and removes barriers to the widespread adoption of farming practices that build soil health in row crop systems, including incentive structures beyond government cost-share for conservation practices.
- Agriculture as a solution for climate change
Climate change is a significant and growing threat to the economic and environmental health of agricultural systems. MRCC members support government policy that helps farmers achieve resilience through sustainable practice adoption, including market-based approaches such as value chain partnerships and mechanisms that encourage carbon sequestration and/or greenhouse gas mitigation through agricultural practices.
- Place-based interdependence of farms and nature that supports biodiversity
Farms are complicated ecosystems of soil, plants, water, and livestock. MRCC members support government policy that rewards place-based and holistic farm management that mainstreams biodiversity. Government incentives should prioritize resource outcomes and improvements, with the flexibility for farmers to choose the practices that work best for their operations and local ecosystem.
- Equity and economic viability for all in the value chain, especially farm families and minority farmers
The future of our agricultural system is bound to the well-being of the communities who make its function possible, and policy should reflect that reality. MRCC members support government policy that encourages a regenerative economic system for farmers and rural communities: building long-term economic stability, encouraging a wide diversity of crops and farming operations, enhancing the quality of life for farm families and rural communities, and creating opportunity for community members who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC).
- Promoting regenerative outcomes
Regeneration is the outcome of a holistic approach, rather than any individual practice. MRCC members prioritize policy that promotes across the aforementioned principles and pushes beyond just practice adoption to verifiable regenerative outcomes on the landscape.
The Midwest Row Crop Collaborative has identified the following priorities its members would like policy makers at both the federal and state levels to consider when making decisions that affect farmers’ ability to productively engage in agronomic and conservation practices.
- Accelerate in-field and edge-of-field conservation practices that improve water quality and soil health, including locally-driven adoption of existing and innovative practices.
- Strengthen soil health and water quality research and data collection to improve the adoption of conservation practices, impact of on-farm conservation practices, and measurement of outcomes. Incorporate the latest science and conservation technologies into program implementation.
- Improve opportunities for public-private partnerships to drive implementation of conservation practices. Public-private partnerships should increase availability of incentives to farmers to overcome cost, risk, or learning-curve barriers to adoption of conservation measures.
Our policy activities include:
- Working with policy staff of member organizations and sustainable agriculture policy experts to identify policy priorities within the scope of soil health, water, climate, and supply chain resilience.
- Using the power of members’ collective voice to engage in sustainable agriculture policy efforts.
- Engaging with near-term and long-term policy opportunities aligned with the Collaborative’s vision and mission.
- Maintaining a dialogue between members and policy stakeholders through virtual and in-person gatherings.
- Submitting a letter of support for the Growing Climate Solutions Act.