We support innovative and ecologically sustainable farm management practices that preserve and enhance farmland and the surrounding landscape while respecting farmers’ autonomy and need to make a good living from farming.
These practices include:
Soil-grown agriculture and good soil management practices: including composting, cover crops, minimizing tillage, and erosion control measures;
Good water management: including efficient irrigation, water conservation, cover crops to reduce soil erosion, protecting water quality by managing runoff;
Good air quality management: including planting hedgerows, planting trees, and minimize dust and drift;
Biodiversity: diversifying crops and non-crop areas, integrating livestock into crop management, providing habitat for pest predators, restoring critical wildlife areas, creating wildlife corridors, and managing invasive species;
Pollinator support: protect native pollinators and pollinator habitats, install hedgerows and insectaries, installing and maintaining beehives, participate in the Bee Friendly Farming certificate program;
Pest management: including using non-chemical means to manage weeds, using Integrated Pest Management techniques to determine whether treatment is necessary and choosing the least-toxic treatment technique; minimizing harm to non-target species; providing habitat for natural predators;
Climate-smart farming: including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and use of fossil fuels, use of alternative energy sources, adapting farming practices to climate change, planting trees and perennials;
Minimize waste: create compost and biofuel from farm wastes, use recycled materials;
Preserve heirloom varieties: including, not using GMO (genetically modified) seeds or organisms, buying and/or preserving heirloom seeds, using heirloom scion grafts, sharing heirlooms with other farms;
Certification: third party certification of sustainable farming practices through USDA Organics program, Biodynamic certification by Demeter USA, or Bee Friendly Farming, for example.
In addition, farms should also be good businesses (striving for economic viability) good neighbors (provide access, education, and advocacy), good employers (provide safe conditions, living wages, and benefits), and provide healthy, safe farm products (follow food safety guidelines).