Environmental Initiative + Trust in Food

Connect with farmers in ways that break through the noise.

There's no time to lose.

Environmental Initiative + Trust in Food

Connect with farmers in ways that break through the noise.

There's no time to lose.

Accelerate Farmer Engagement

Environmental Initiative and Trust in Food™ teamed up to better understand what it takes to accelerate producers’ voluntary engagement with conservation agriculture programs. Leadership and insights from Midwest Row Crop Collaborative members provide context for this tool.

This step-by-step process provides organizations engaged in conservation agriculture initiatives with worksheets, case studies, and tips and tools. Backed by research designed to help users design, implement, and evaluate producer engagement programs that spark curiosity and inspire change.

High Impact Conservation Outreach

A Case Study

What happens if you put a deep understanding of farmers’ values and goals in the center of efforts to drive change? 


The answer: It makes a world of difference.

The sustainable systems change needed across the agricultural landscape will only be achieved when farmers understand, see value in, and feel equipped to confidently make progress. The team at Trust In Food calls these the Human Dimensions of Change™.

We know this because we have seen it in action. Together, the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative and Farm Journal’s Trust In Food division designed an effort that first looked to understand the distinct values and obstacles of specific groups of producers, and then used those insights to guide engagement efforts in climate-smart agriculture programs.

Putting farmers at the center.

At the outset of our partnership, Trust In Food analyzed the values, interests, and perceived barriers of more than 55,000 farmers in a three-state area within MRCC members’ supply sheds. Trust In Food designed an engagement strategy with guidance from MRCC members to support the different perspectives and obstacles faced by the project area’s farmers.

Every aspect of the program was based on qualitative and quantitative data and was designed to meet the values, goals, and obstacles of these specific producers.

The strategy worked.

Of the 10,000 farmers engaged in the outreach, 151 farmers raised their hand to learn more about taking formal steps to adopt the desired conservation practice. Some material performed at a rate three-to-five times benchmark, and a longitudinal study showed that sentiment related to conservation agriculture improved measurably in the project area during a one-year span.

Clearly, understanding a project area’s producers can accelerate the effectiveness of conservation outreach.


Insights from Sustainability Engagement Leaders

Planning Conservation Outreach Using Place-Based Insights

“Growers are the ultimate stewards of their land and the center of what we do at Nutrien Ag Solutions. We have long-standing, trusted relationships with farmers in our supply chain. What we can learn in this process will help us engage and build deeper connections with our growers to implement practices in their operations that are both sustainable and profitable.


Ryan Locke
Nutrien Ag Solutions

Meet the Partners

Environmental Initiative

Environmental Initiative is a nonprofit working with people in communities, businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies to advance social equity and environmental health. We engage communities, convene conversations, build and facilitate partnerships – including the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative, and manage projects on a range of environmental issues where collaboration is needed most.

Trust in Food

Trust In Food™ is a social-purpose initiative of Farm Journal. The team at Trust In Food is working to accelerate and scale the transition to more sustainable and resilient agricultural systems. We deploy the unparalleled business intelligence, data, reach and trust of the nearly 150-year-old Farm Journal company to unleash the potential of every dollar invested in sustainable agriculture within the United States.

This Playbook Made Possible By

Walmart Org
Midwest Row Crop Collaborative
Environmental Initiative
Trust in Food
Trust in Beef