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Farmers for Sustainable Food, a collaborative, industry-supported effort to promote and support farmer-led solutions to environmental challenges, released its first annual progress report today.

The nonprofit organization of food system partners grew to 40 members in 2021, up 14 from 2020. Through partnerships with six farmer-led conservation groups across Wisconsin, FSF supported 231 farmers who represent 288,925 acres and 243,720 head of livestock. Through an annual member conservation practice survey, FSF was able to document practices these farmers are implementing and analyze the potential impact on the environment.

Key results:

• Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 49,830 tons. This equals the emissions from 10,737 cars driven for a year.

• Reduced sediment from leaving farm fields by 106,846 tons. One dump truck can carry about 10 tons of soil.

• Reduced 330,471 pounds of phosphorus from leaving farm fields. One pound of this nutrient that reaches a waterbody can feed 500 pounds of algae.

In the spring of 2021, FSF and three partners gained national recognition by receiving an Outstanding Supply Chain Collaboration Award from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy for a sustainability project they piloted in southwestern Wisconsin. The partners were Grande Cheese Company, The Nature Conservancy and Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance. FSF also added three sustainability projects with other supply chain partners and farmer groups.

“Our work is not slowing down. More partnerships, projects and farmer-led groups are in the works. Connecting our farmers, food processors, brands, retailers and customers is critical in agriculture’s sustainability journey,” Lauren Brey, FSF managing director, said. “Every day, our team’s top priority remains finding ways to best support farmers in their conservation goals and help them succeed.”