Ag groups found farm sustainability measurement network, 'FieldRise'

Ag groups found farm sustainability measurement network, 'FieldRise'

FieldRise questionnaire and sustainability measurement tool helps ag groups quantify stewardship efforts of farmers

A new private partnership, first announced last year, will help farm groups collect and quantify the stewardship practices already underway on U.S. farms.

The partnership, FieldRise, was created by University of Wisconsin faculty and brings farmers together through a peer-reviewed, confidential approach to sustainability data collection.

FieldRise expands the farmer-founded mission of the National Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture into several new services to support farm success:

• Getting farmers recognized as sustainability leaders based on a peer-reviewed measurement and statistical process;

• Connecting sustainability to farm economics; and

Tommy Bernt milks cows on the family's farm on September 30, 2013 in Spalding, Nebraska. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

• Marketplace outreach to build understanding of the field-level realities of production agriculture.

Already 10 farm groups, including the American Soybean Association and other regional organizations are listed as founding members.

"FieldRise gives farm groups and the food chain a proven new way to collect production practice data and advance success starting where farm sustainability begins, from the ground up," says Ron Moore, American Soybean Association director.

Related: Roundtable Brings US Companies Together for Ag Sustainability Discussion

"NISA proved farmers are willing to help the food chain and influencers define sustainability and support shared success from field to family."

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Wisconsin Pork Producers representative Mike Wehler says the program helps U.S. pork producers showcase their track record of stewardship success.

"All of us in mainstream agriculture want everyone to have the accurate information they deserve," Wehler says. "People deserve to hear the whole story.

Wehler says Wisconsin Pork Producers joined FieldRise because it gives farm families new ways to measure how farmers protect resources, keep improving, produce food at a fair return, and answer questions from city neighbors.

"No other system comes close in ease of use, field-proven farmer acceptance, and practice advancement strategies that will help the food chain shift the sustainability conversation into action" Moore said. "FieldRise also is an efficient way to recruit farmers to participate in outcome assessments."

The first groups to transition to FieldRise Network founding membership include (with several more pending): American Soybean Association; The Cranberry Institute; Illinois Soybean Association; Michigan Agribusiness Association; Midwest Food Processors Association; Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin; Wisconsin Pork Producers Association; Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association; Wisconsin Soybean Association; Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association.

Continued reading: Guardians of the soil

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