To effectively promote sustainable agriculture, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) takes a systems approach to its policy option development and advocacy work: giving attention to a breadth of issues, from stewardship of the land and natural resources, to interdisciplinary efforts in research and education, to local economic development. To organize this work, NSAC divides its issues into five clusters (see below).
These issue clusters represent the five policy issue committees made up of NSAC member organizations and allies who discuss and help to develop NSAC’s policy positions and grassroots strategies.
Conservation, Energy and Environment
The Conservation, Energy and Environment Committee helps formulate policy options and positions on the broad array of agricultural conservation programs, renewable energy policy, environmental policy issues, and climate change policy strategies.
Farming Opportunities and Fair Competition
The Farming Opportunities and Fair Competition Committee works on leveling the playing field for both the current and future generations of family farmers. These issues include: commodity program reform, farm credit, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, federal crop insurance and revenue insurance programs, tax policy, trade issues, and agribusiness concentration. These issues are considered in respect to their impact on small and medium-sized family farms and the broader application of sustainable farming practices and systems.
Food System Integrity
The Food System Integrity Committee develops and advances policies that both ensure a safe food supply and support thriving family farms, healthy food systems, and opportunities for sustainable farmers. These issues include food labeling and food safety regulations.
Marketing, Food Systems and Rural Development
The Marketing, Food Systems and Rural Development Committee explores alternative and value-added marketing channels for sustainably produced farm goods as well as economic strategies that build the vitality and sustainability of rural communities. Issues include local and regional food systems, farm to school, healthy food access, and economic development.
Research, Education and Extension
The Research, Education and Extension Committee focuses on USDA and other public agricultural research and extension programs and land-grant university accountability activities that support sustainable agriculture. Issues include organic and sustainable research, seed breeding, data collection, and economic analysis of sustainable production systems.