The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a nonprofit in the 2014 Farm Bill, has been an integral partner in developing the Soil Health Partnership (SHP). FFAR made an impactful contribution that took SHP from a research program to a full-fledged multi-state, farmer-led soil health effort.
The FFAR investment in SHP supports collaborative research and education that accelerates adoption and benefits of soil health management systems nationally. Soil health is a critical component of a productive and sustainable agricultural system. Farming practices that improve soil health can increase profitability while protecting natural resources like air and water for communities.
FFAR funding has positioned SHP to fully leverage the unique data set and build strong partnerships with the Soil Health Institute and The Nature Conservancy. SHP’s work is helping industry adopt standardized measurements to evaluate and improve soil health while increasing access to education and tools for local farmers, agronomists, and landowners.
Through FFAR’s support, SHP has strengthened existing research and expanded the SHP team to maintain quality data collection and farmer engagement. The expanded SHP team allows increased collaboration with varying organizations and farmers in new geographies to better access where SHP can best serve a larger audience of growers. Increasing the SHP network opens opportunities where improvement is needed and identifies where farmers’ greatest needs reside.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is celebrating its fifth anniversary as a farmer-led initiative fostering transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. SHP has grown from 17 active farms in 2014 to 220 active farms in 2019. SHP represents around 6,000 acres, spans across 16 states and partners with over 100 organizations at the federal, state and county levels. Join us as we reflect on the past five years and celebrate the opportunities ahead!