GLBW Network Priorities
To realize the full potential and myriad benefits of CLC farming, it must be practiced widely across the agricultural landscape. GLBW has identified these priorities as a roadmap for multiple stakeholders (“We” below) to achieve landscape-scale change in the Upper Midwest.
1. Expand CLC crop and systems development and research
We continue to expand development of new CLC crops and release these for production in our region. This work provides farmers with more and better crops and farming options. We increase the number and diversity of long-term research programs that document the environmental, economic, and social impacts of CLC crops and cropping systems, including the relationship of CLC farming to soil health, water quality, biodiversity, and climate change.
2. Increase CLC implementation and integration of multiple CLC strategies
We increase diversity in agriculture by implementing the GLBW CLC strategies of agroforestry, winter annuals/cover crops, perennial biomass, perennial forage, and perennial grains. Even greater gains can be achieved by expanding and strengthening collaboration among strategies, partners, and experts to support the integration of CLC farming systems in whole-farm planning, multi-year rotations and across landscapes.
3. Strategically place CLC farming systems on the landscape
We target CLC on the landscape based on land use (or underuse), land ownership, and multi-functional qualities that offer opportunities to increase impact and demonstrate agronomic, environmental, and economic performance of CLC crops and systems and bring new stakeholders to the table.
4. Strengthen market drivers for CLC crops
We recognize that market pull is the key economic motivator to get more CLC crops on the landscape. Along with community-based partners and businesses of all sizes, we strengthen, support, and build markets for products produced by CLC farming systems. Particular effort is invested in developing value chains for new CLC crops. We also explore and pilot other innovative financing and farmer-support programs that provide economic incentives for CLC practice implementation.
5. Optimize governmental support for CLC farming
We work to expand the use of existing programs and help to create new programs to support CLC farming in collaboration with local, state, and federal agencies.
6. Shift narrative and investment regarding Upper Midwest agriculture towards CLC
We shift the public narrative around what is possible through agriculture in the Upper Midwest. We collectively develop – and update as necessary – core CLC farming messages, along with tools and communication products that deliver these messages. Through funded activities and direct communication and feedback, we encourage funders to shift agricultural portfolios to increase investment in CLC farming systems.