Farmers for Sustainable Food Annual Meeting
7-8 a.m. Thursday, January 20, 2022
Monona Terrace, Madison, WI
FSF members are invited to listen to the year in review from President Todd Doornink and Managing Director Lauren Brey.
Each farmer-led conservation group president will also give updates on membership, growth and future goals.
Following the members meeting we will have a farmer-led sustainability project roundtable discussion.
If you’re interested in attending please RSVP to Lauren Brey email@example.com
Lauren Brey, managing director of Farmers for Sustainable Food, participated in a panel at the Sustainable Ag Summit held in Las Vegas on Nov. 17, 2021. One of three panelists, Brey was accompanied by Drew Kessler, Houston Engineering, and Steve Shlangen, Schlangen Family Farm. Kelly Murray Young, Field to Market, moderated.
The panel discussed four key areas of establishing and implementing projects to document the financial and environmental benefits of on-farm conservation: engagement, formation, operation, and conclusion.
Brey presented how Farmers for Sustainable Food has developed the Framework for Farm-level Sustainability Projects, an easy-to-use handbook that helps farmers determine which conservation practices are most effective for their individual farms by equipping them with the tools necessary to document the environmental and financial effects of conservation practices.
In 2019, this framework was put to the test through a pilot project in southwest Wisconsin.
Through the pilot project, farmers completed financial and environmental analyses to develop benchmarks, financial baselines were set to evaluate ROI year-over-year and farmers determined what conservation practices worked best for their farm. Brey shared the year-one results with attendees. This project is now being duplicated by other farmer-led groups and food companies.
Farmers for Sustainable Food was honored when their pilot project received the “Outstanding Supply Chain Collaboration” award from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy in 2021.
“Participating in a breakout session at the Sustainable Ag Summit was a great opportunity to share the work that we are doing at FSF with a broad audience. There were farmers, environmental organizations, food-supply companies and retailers in the audience who were all interested in learning about the work we are doing,” Brey said. “We made some valuable connections and I’m looking forward to seeing where these networks take us to help advance our efforts.”
Farmers for Sustainable Food (FSF) has added an experienced communications professional to expand the promotion of the organization’s work, especially the efforts of farmer-led watershed conservation groups that FSF supports.
Anne Moore joined FSF last month as sustainability communications manager. The growing nonprofit is a collaborative, industry-supported effort to promote and support farmer-led solutions to environmental challenges.
Moore has broad communications experience in agriculture, most recently as marketing communications director in country operations at CHS Inc., a farmer-owned cooperative. In the new role with FSF, she is developing storytelling approaches that shine the spotlight on farmers and their supporters as they implement innovative conservation practices. She creates and coordinates photos, social media, videos, newsletters and written stories, and assists the news media.
“Agriculture has been a passion of mine since my early 4-H and FFA days,” Moore said. “Having this opportunity to help tell the stories of how famers are making a difference in their communities is an honor. The farmers are doing the hard, dirty work of creating healthier soil and protecting water quality. I get to do the fun part of highlighting those efforts and the dedicated people making it all happen.”
On a broader scale, Moore is connecting communications throughout FSF’s partners. The five-year-old Wisconsin-based group, which was rebranded this past spring, was formed around the goal of helping dairy farmers make tangible improvements to the environment and other aspects of their farms. Since then, additional partners have come aboard representing various parts of the food supply chain, from agricultural groups to food processors and food companies. The group also is facilitating greater opportunities to achieve environmental goals and promote progress throughout the Upper Midwest.
“With firsthand experience in the farmer cooperative environment, Anne has true passion to serve and represent farmers,” Tim Trotter, FSF’s executive director, said. “Her strong communications abilities, coupled with a keen interest in sustainability, make her a perfect fit to convey the sustainability journey happening on our farms today.”