“Given the appropriate tools, training and support is key to organizing and mobilizing farmers. We found that many individuals just lacked to confidence to approach and reach out to their legislators, once they had the appropriate support they were engaged and could certainly speak to the issues.”
- NOFA-NY (Northeast Organic Farming Association of NY)
Every year, the Network distributes small grants to members to carry out farmer education, leadership cultivation and mobilization to advance healthy soils policies at the state and federal level.
2021 Healthy Soils and Climate Bills Championed & Passed by Our Membership
The following healthy soils and climate bills—championed by members of the Network—were signed into law in 2021:
• Colorado — HB 21-1181 creates a healthy soils program funded for 2022 with $2 million. The program includes grants, monitoring of the benefits of soil health practices, a state soil health inventory and a soil testing program.
• Maine — LD 437 establishes a state healthy soils program to provide technical assistance, grants and research to implement healthy soils best practices. Grants must be equitably distributed to beginning and socially disadvantaged growers.
• Maryland — SB483/HB264 encourages an increase in composting infrastructure and requires the largest food waste generators to send their waste to composting facilities.
• Massachusetts — Healthy Soils Program was established with an initial $100,000 allocation to fund education, technical assistance, and financial incentives to farmers who use healthy soil practices.
• New Mexico —HB 89 gives taxpayers the option of contributing a portion of their tax refund to the state Healthy Soil Program, which was passed in 2019.
• New York — The Soil Health and Climate Resiliency Act establishes a program to encourage and educate farmers to improve the health of their soil and be more resilient.
• Minnesota — $5.3 million was allocated to fund healthy soils practices through the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources.