30 Years of Building the Foundation for a New Farm and Food System

Over its 30-year history, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has been committed to establishing and securing support and funding for dozens of programs that promote conservation, foster family farm agriculture, build new markets and businesses, and develop sustainable and organic research, education and extension opportunities. Read about NSAC’s success stories.

Building the Healthy Food Pipeline

Ensuring a Safe Food Supply and Thriving Family Farms

Led the campaign to secure provisions in the Food Safety Modernization Act that:

  • Provided the option for small, mid-sized, and direct-market agricultural operations to comply with equivalent state regulations or modified, scale-appropriate federal regulation
  • Ensured that food safety regulations do not undermine beneficial on-farm conservation and wildlife practices
  • Minimized extra regulations for low-risk processing that is part of value-added production
  • Allowed farm identity preserved marketing as an option in the place of government trace-back controls
  • Made sure that regulations complement – rather than contradict – strict regulations for certified organic production
  • Streamlined and reduce unnecessary paperwork for farmers and small processors
  • Secured authorized funding for farmer food safety training in 2010, and then doubled funding in 2016, through a new competitive grant program

Fostering Family Farm Agriculture

  • Secured the removal of commodity program penalties against diversified crop rotations typical of mid-sized family farms using sustainable systems
  • Achieved comprehensive contract fairness reforms to protect contract feeders from unjust mandatory arbitration clauses and other unreasonable contract provisions
  • Developed the first-ever competition title in the farm bill to begin to reverse decades of unregulated concentration of the livestock industry
  • Supported innovative loans to help new farmers buy their first land through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Down Payment Loan Program
  • Secured targeted federal credit assistance to beginning and minority farmers through set-asides, target participation rates, and special incentives
  • Expanded outreach, education and assistance for beginning and minority farmers through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
  • Established sustainable and organic farming as “good farming practices” ending federal crop insurance program discrimination against alternative systems and eliminating the organic surcharge from crop insurance
  • Advocated for better crop insurance rules governing cover crops, and better coverage options for organic crops

Developing Sustainable Research, Education, and Extension

Promoting Conservation

  • Developed the nation’s first-ever “green payments” program supporting advanced stewardship systems through the Conservation Stewardship Program
  • Restored and rebuilt conservation cost-share assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
  • Ensured flexible support for local innovative conservation projects through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program
  • Created opportunities for implementing conservation techniques and activities for organic and transitioning-to-organic farmers through the EQIP Organic Initiative
  • Secured permanent funding for the restoration and protection of agricultural wetlands through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
  • Secured payments for conservation buffers to improve water quality and habitat through continuous enrollment options in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
  • Extended soil and wetland conservation requirements to crop insurance subsidies
  • Protected critical grasslands through the creation of Sodsaver program and the development of a grasslands initiative within CRP
  • Established strong roles for farmers and NGOs to influence the shape of conservation programs through State Technical Committees