Launched early in 2018, the National Healthy Soils Policy Network is a group of farmer-centered organizations that advocate for state and federal policies on behalf of sustainable, organic, beginning, minority and/or family farmers. This group recognizes and focuses on farmer-informed policy to scale up practices that improve soil health, leveraging robust funding, technical assistance and research to accelerate their widespread adoption.
With the support of small grants distributed through the Network, the Alliance and the following member organizations are conducting a range of activities to bring farmer voices and influence to bear on healthy soils policies across the nation:
Illinois Stewardship Alliance — Launch a Soil Health Caucus of farmers in Illinois who collaborate to foster political leadership to take action for soil health and water quality; fund farmers to tell their stories at winter regional annual meetings and to statehouse press corps.
Northeast Organic Farming Association Massachusetts Chapter — Bring 10 farmers to a legislative briefing day in the statehouse to speak on the importance of the Healthy Soils Bill, targeting members of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York — Provide a power mapping workshop for 20 NOFA farmers, followed by policymaker education training for 30 farmers who will then meet with their representatives on soil health legislation.
Northern Plains Resource Council — Begin to develop cohesive and widely supported soil health bill language for the 2021 Montana legislature by collecting input from farmers and ranchers using surveys of producers, two stakeholder meetings, and two producer-led stakeholder meetings.
National Young Farmers Coalition — Hold 4 listening sessions for farmers and ranchers across Colorado to gather input from producers about their existing efforts at improving soil health, barriers to adopting additional soil health practices, and policy and programmatic ideas that would mitigate those barriers.
Land Stewardship Project — Hold 2-3 organizing meetings in rural Minnesota, train 3-5 farmer members, hold 3-5 in-district meetings with potential state legislative champions, and publish 3-5 farmer-written blogs and opinion pieces about tackling the climate crisis through regenerative agriculture and healthy soils policy.
Oregon Climate and Agriculture Network — Engage producers as spokespeople for Oregon’s proposed cap-and-invest legislation to educate their peers, the media and the legislature about the need for the policy and incentives for climate-friendly agricultural practices provided by the policy.
Center for Rural Affairs — Develop a cohort of farmers in the state with a passion for building soil health, improving water quality, and addressing climate change through agricultural conservation practices to inform state policy in Iowa.