Find here communication tools for your own outreach about continuous living cover agriculture – case studies, reports, analyses, infographics, lit references, media contacts, and more below. Come back often because we are always adding new materials!
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GLBW endeavors to develop distinct and effective tools for our network partners to Make the Case for CLC in their work and to their funders. GLBW engaged Ecotone Analytics to begin to develop return on investment tools as a different way to characterize Continuous Living Cover and communicate its benefits.
In the project documentation, Ecotone identifies that the need for CLC adoption and the mission and purpose of GLBW make it a potentially highly valuable vessel for raising and funneling funding and investment for network partner projects.
Ecotone Analytics is an impact accounting organization that does benefit-cost analysis for clients’ social and environmental impacts. Combining evidence-based research analysis and monetization of impact outcomes, Ecotone derives a social return on investment ratio. Social Return on Investment (SROI) is an adaptation of the financial ROI metric. It is used to measure social, environmental, and economic gains (also referred to as returns) as a result of an investment.
With GLBW and many GLBW partners (huge thanks for your input!), Ecotone Analytics conducted an impact analysis and calculated an SROI focusing on the Perennial Forage and Grazing (PFG) strategy of CLC. The analysis takes a benefit-cost approach to external literature of the highest available level of evidence of causality to estimate the total social, environmental and economic value generated by PFG. The prospective valuation approach used compares the estimated outcomes achieved by PFG against the environmental impacts of annual row crops in the Upper Midwest.
Following their research and analysis, Ecotone projects that the SROI achieved by the PFG strategy will be approximately $3.46. For every $1 dollar in investment made in supporting the establishment of a perennial pasture and grazing system on farms with livestock, a projected $3.46 in social and environmental value will be generated, with benefits flowing to farms, taxpayers, community members, municipal water users, and the broader global society. The largest outcome monetized was the projected reduced costs of eutrophication due to avoided nutrient runoff, followed by the financial returns accruing to the farm.
Two financial hurdles that INVESTORS CAN HELP OVERCOME are upfront investment costs and opportunity costs for the farmer, in return fostering larger environmental services as well as potentially supporting financial well-being on the farm.
Photo by Susie Theis
The impact value map and overview brochure shows the estimated cost per acre for pasture and grazing system establishment and the projected benefits per acre per year from adopting perennial forage and grazing strategies, in comparison to conventional practices.
- Impact Overview for the Social and Environmental Impact of Perennial Forage and Grazing in the Upper Midwest
Elements of the Impact Overview Brochure are provided below as individual graphic files for your use.
- Five Dimensions of Impact of Continuous Living Cover
- Ag Transformation Indicators of Perennial Forage and CLC
- Logic Model for a network/collaborative approach to implementing CLC
- Impact Value Map for the Social and Environmental Impact of Perennial Forage and Grazing in the Upper Midwest
Find below supplemental materials about the analysis, providing technical information and user and communications guidance.
- Fact Sheet: Minnesota Projects to Protect Drinking Water with Kernza Perennial Grain – GLBW, Sept 2021
- Project Snapshot: VERDI, MN – Project to Protect Drinking Water with Kernza Perennial Grain – GLBW, Feb 2020
- Project Snapshot: COLD SPRING, MN – Project to Protect Drinking Water with Kernza Perennial Grain – GLBW, Feb 2020
- Paper: Policies and Programs Supporting Perennial Farming Systems to Protect Drinking Water in Minnesota – GLBW, Apr 2019