Solutions from the Land’s Global Work Program

April 13, 2023

“Agriculture is the greatest and fundamentally the most important of our industries,” said 20th century American financier, statesman and four-decade Presidential adviser Bernard Baruch . “The cities are but the branches of the tree of national life, the roots of which go deeply into the land. We all flourish or decline with the farmer.”

No truer words could have been said, then or now. Just as the 20th century ways of doing agriculture were increasingly under stress, today’s agriculture must adapt to different markets, changing weather patterns and a more urgent need to do more with less, as the global population exceeds 8 billion.

Farmers, ranchers and foresters in the 21st century are being called upon to address hunger, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sequester carbon, navigate and mitigate climate change, build soil health, clean up water sources, and produce clean energy while delivering food, feed, fiber, and fuel, and maintaining profitable businesses that sustain their families’ livelihoods.

What other business is asked to do more? But, also, what other business could do more for society?

There is no life without agriculture, which puts an incredible amount of responsibility—and honor—in the hands of those who are involved in it.

We at Solutions from the Land continue to be amazed and inspired by farmers, ranchers and foresters:

  • We see them hard at work innovating and doing so much good for our planet from their pieces of the land they and their families steward.
  • We see them collaborating with one another and with agricultural partners, exchanging ideas and developing uncommon partnerships that allow them to do more together than they could alone.
  • We see them leading an agricultural renaissance, constructing sustainable, profitable and resilient systems that lay the foundation for a world of abundance on many scales, capable of producing nutritious food, feed, fiber, clean energy, healthy ecosystems, quality livelihoods and strong rural economies.

At SfL, we are committed to supporting these farmers, ranchers and foresters in state, national and global initiatives and alliances that allow them to showcase their innovations and proactively advocate for farmer-friendly policies, partnership, investments and research. We want to enable these land stewards to do even more good—and to be recognized internationally for their good work and their ability to deliver solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.

As with any organization, we can’t achieve anything without a strategic plan. We want to bring you into an understanding of our goals, and how we plan to achieve them, for 2023-2026.

Our envisioned, overarching outcomes

We want to see the widespread adoption and incorporation of SfL guiding principles, including the need for innovation, technology and farmer consultation, in United Nations (UN) agency documents and subsequent member states’ policies.


We will know we were successful if:

  • The United National Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) formally incorporates agriculture as a solution to climate change in policy documents.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Systems Pathways are agriculture-innovation- and technology-neutral and outcomes-focused.
  • U.S. government strategically uses its negotiating power in global agricultural forum platforms.
  • Aligned farmer groups and organizations (outside the U.S.) collaborate to guide UN agencies and member states.

How we will accomplish these outcomes

We will:

  • Develop a cadre of farmer envoys who effectively intervene across the spectrum of SfL global engagement platforms, including:
    • UNFCCC
    • FAO
    • FAO Committee on Food Security
    • Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture
    • UN Environmental Program
    • UN Water Conference
    • World Water Week
    • World Food Program
    • UN Convention on Biodiversity
  • Build relationships of trust and knowledge-sharing with aligned farmer organizations and collaborate with them to guide UN agencies and member states.
  • Build an alliance of U.S. agricultural organization that collaborates with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to carry shared messages.
  • Establish feedback loops to share global developments of U.S. agriculture.
  • Take a leading voice in the farmer leadership conversation.

In 2023-2026, we will prioritize ensuring farmer voices are heard in international conversations on:

  • Water
  • Biodiversity
  • Food and nutrition security

You can see our full global plan of work for 2023-2026 here.

There is no better time than now to invest in the future of agriculture—which is the future of the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and the environment in which we live. If we want to take care of our planet, we have to first listen to and enable our farmers and their agricultural partners.

We invite you to join us in our work at Solutions from the Land. Please contact Ernie Shea, SfL president, at eshea@solutionsfromtheland.org or 410-952-0123 if you would like to get involved as a farmer or agricultural partner or if your company or foundation is interested in helping to fund our global program of work. We would be happy to get to know you and explore options for working together.

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Our Vision

An Agricultural Renaissance, led by innovative and entrepreneurial farmers, ranchers and foresters constructing sustainable, profitable and resilient systems that lay the foundation for a world of abundance on many scales capable of producing nutritious food, feed, fiber, clean energy, healthy ecosystems, quality livelihoods, and strong rural economies.