Since its inception nearly a decade ago, Solutions from the Land (SfL) has gathered farmers, ranchers and forestland owners, as well as those who serve in their supply chain, in an ongoing conversation on how to meet society’s increasing appetite for food, feed, fiber, energy and environmental quality.
This dialogue, which involves some of the nation’s leading thought leaders and practitioners, aims to help land owners and managers make the most of their land’s potential, including finding innovative solutions to the challenges caused by a changing climate.
SfL’s leaders recognize the importance of positioning farmers, ranchers and foresters, and agricultural landscapes as solution providers. Adopting a simple but effective tagline – “Farmers at the forefront of global challenges” – the SfL board has renewed its commitment with an updated vision statement:
By 2030, America’s farms, ranches and forests are at the forefront of resolving food system, energy, environmental and climate challenges and achieving global sustainable development goals.
SfL incubates and advances pragmatic, proven and innovative agricultural solutions that benefit not only producers, but the public and the planet. It inspires, educates, and equips agricultural partners to innovate and lead efforts to sustain productivity, enhance climate resilience, and contribute to local and global sustainable development efforts. SfL is broadening its mission to counter policy threats to our food systems by those that would impose “silver bullet” solutions that would ultimately disrupt our ability to produce the commodities needed in a growing world.
Critical to the success of those efforts, SfL holds, is to bring agricultural thought leaders together and place them at the forefront of conversations about the food system, the environment and the future.
SfL works both domestically and globally building and facilitating alliances. Through these coalitions, farmers, ranchers, foresters and collaborating partners discover examples of innovation. SfL then helps them proactively advocate for policies, partnerships, investments and research that will enable agricultural landscapes to deliver near-term, cost-effective, integrated solutions to global mega-challenges: food and energy security; sustainable economic development; and environmental improvement.
In states like North Carolina and Missouri, SfL initiated Climate Smart Agriculture Work Groups composed of agriculture and forestry leaders, along with business, academic, research and government partners. Charged with exploring the impacts of increasingly extreme weather events and changing climatic conditions on agriculture and forestry in the states, the work groups determined whether the sectors were adequately prepared for what is coming and called for the development of comprehensive adaptive management strategies. Similar work is currently underway in Florida.
On the regional level, the Ohio Smart Agriculture: Solutions from the Land project is an initiative aimed at ensuring the finite land resources in the state meet growing demand for local, affordable and nutritious food, feed, fiber and energy, as well as maintain watershed and wildlife habitats and provide other ecosystem services – while simultaneously adapting to changing climatic conditions. Next month, the Steering Committee leading the initiative will unveil their findings action plan to help Ohio’s farmers and woodland managers further improve the state’s quality of life through solutions they can sustainably deliver from the land.
The Delmarva Land and Litter Challenge brought together farmers, environmental groups, and poultry companies, complemented by agricultural business and trade groups, academics, and government stakeholders to collaborate and develop strategies to abate poultry related nutrient pollution in the Delmarva Peninsula, which is comprised of areas adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay in the states of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
On the national scale, 25x’25 engages stakeholder partners in the pursuit of America’s farms, forests and ranches providing 25 percent of the total energy consumed in the United States, all while continuing to produce safe, abundant, and affordable food, feed and fiber.
Multi-nationally, SfL is underpinning the work of the North America Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance (NACSAA) – a partnership that collaborates and interfaces with the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA). NACSAA works to ensure agricultural systems across the continent sustainably produce food, feed, fiber, energy and ecosystems services; enhance climate resilience; reduce and sequester greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute high value solutions to sustainable development goals.
Critical among NACSAA efforts are a wide range of recommendations submitted to and accepted by the work groups under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change developing the Koronivia Joint Work Program on Agriculture. It’s a plan that will see to the development and implementation of new strategies for adaptation and mitigation within the agriculture sector. Through this work, SfL is advancing the need to keep those who work the land at the center of all discussions and decision-making in the development of agricultural policy addressing climate change.
The wide scope of SfL’s work underscores the fact that this nationwide network of agricultural leaders provides a powerful voice that connects with a diverse audience, inspires farmers to do more, and mobilizes public demand and support for solutions from the land. We encourage you to visit our website and join in our efforts.