U.S. Farmers & Ranchers in Action (USFRA) is celebrating National Ag Day by announcing the growing list of companies, organizations and individuals who have joined the Decade of Ag, the first sector-wide movement to align to a shared vision for the next decade centered around investing in the next generation of agricultural systems, restoring our environment, regenerating natural resources and in doing so, strengthening the social and economic fabric of America.
"These leaders are stepping up in action to collaborate for meaningful impact," said USFRA CEO Erin Fitzgerald. "They're leaning in to build the future of agriculture. And when we're grounded in a shared vision of what a decade of success looks like, we're able to go further and faster together."
Leaders supporting and endorsing the vision include the following across the value chain:
- Organizations representing farmers and ranchers: Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, Native American Agriculture Fund, National Association of Wheat Growers, United Sorghum Checkoff Program, American Egg Board, Manna Fish Farms, American Sugarbeet Growers Association, Dairy West, Maryland Grain Producers, Pennsylvania Soybean Board, Montana Farm Bureau, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and Maryland Soybean Board
- Agribusiness: Corteva Agriscience, Bayer, Cargill and EcoGem LLC
- Renewable energy: POET and Jordan Energy & Food Enterprises
- Consumer products and foodservice companies: Conagra Brands, Nestlé USA and Danone North America
- NGOs: Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, The Aspen Institute, The Nature Conservancy and Texas Agricultural Land Trust
- Consulting, marketing and media: Bader Rutter, Supermarket Guru, CLUTCH and Sustainable Environmental Consultants
The shared Decade of Ag vision is for a resilient, restorative, economically viable and climate-smart agricultural system that produces abundant and nutritious food, natural fiber and clean energy for a sustainable, vibrant and prosperous America. It is accompanied by principles for action and detailed desired outcomes.
By endorsing, these leaders have acknowledged that while many of them have made individual commitments related to sustainability and climate change, they now share with many others a ten-year vision of success, and they're committed to collaborating across the value chain to co-create solutions.
The Decade of Ag vision was a two-year process finalized at USFRA's annual Honor the Harvest Forum in the fall of 2020, which was co-hosted by the Aspen Institute, with active participation from more than 200 farmer, rancher, food, agriculture, finance, science and technology leaders. With the vision process now complete, leaders can endorse to signal they share the vision and are taking action. USFRA calls on other leaders from across the food and ag sector to take steps toward collaborative action and join the movement by visiting www.usfarmersandranchers.org.
The case for food and agriculture to become the first U.S. economic sector to become carbon negative is promising, as emerging science has shown an achievable path.1 Doing so would contribute notably to the UN Sustainable Development Goals related to climate change and other global challenges, as shown in a 2020 report published by USFRA.
But more collaboration, partnerships and investment are needed to accelerate progress and make meaningful impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In large part, this means co-creating and partnering with farmers on economic resiliency and investment in the future, advancing science, data, technology and innovation at scale.
"Farmers and ranchers are always looking for continuous improvement as we work alongside nature," said Anne Meis, USFRA chair and a farmer from Elgin, Neb. "Science and data can assist us, so we can fulfill the potential to provide climate solutions we are all looking for. Now is the time for agriculture to join with the entire food system to step up with bold action and authentic collaboration."
1 U.S. Farmers & Ranchers in Action. (2019). The Power of Resiliency in Agriculture's Ecosystem Services.
U.S. Farmers & Ranchers in Action (USFRA), the secretariat of the Decade of Ag movement, represents farmer- and rancher-led organizations as well as other leaders throughout the food and agriculture sector with a shared vision of co-creating sustainable food systems and a belief that bold action is needed. It connects farmers and ranchers with the best minds in food, agriculture, science, finance and technology to support the sector in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, and in the process, contributing to increased social and economic stability. Learn more at www.usfarmersandranchers.org.