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Environmental Defense Fund, National Corn Growers Association Form Partnership

The groups say this is a first-of-its-kind partnership between an environmental group and a farm group

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) are joining forces in what the groups say is a first-of-its-kind partnership between an environmental organization and commodity crop association. The groups say the partnership is geared to improve environmental outcomes while optimizing productivity and profitability.
“Many practices that increase soil health and water quality also boost farmers’ bottom lines,” said Suzy Friedman, senior director of agricultural sustainability at EDF, in an NCGA news release. “EDF and NCGA have worked together for many years to align economic incentives and environmental outcomes. Formalizing our partnership was a natural next step to accelerate progress toward our shared goals.”
“The public expects greater stewardship and transparency from farmers, and it’s critical for the agricultural sector to show leadership on conservation,” said Nathan Fields, vice president of production and sustainability at NCGA, in an NCGA news release. “EDF and NCGA are stronger together. We have different expertise and perspectives and combining them is a real opportunity.”

What the Partnership Will Do
The groups say the partnership will stress continuous improvements for water quality and climate resilience, while strengthening yields and profitability. Partnership priorities include:
* Data and measurement to improve tracking of water quality, soil health and greenhouse gas emissions, and scale user-friendly technology solutions for data reporting and analysis. 
* On-farm engagement to increase farmer and agronomist knowledge about innovative conservation tools and practices. 
* Policy advocacy to support voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs with measurable environmental outcomes. 

* Finance and economics to explore and grow opportunities for farmers to benefit economically from conservation practices such as cover crops and conservation tillage. 
* Outreach and communications to build bridges between farmers and consumers.
“Stewardship has always been a way of life for us, but we also have to stay profitable and productive. EDF was the first environmental group to reach out to farmers and listen to our perspectives. I’m excited to see what EDF and NCGA can accomplish together,” said Brandon Hunnicutt,a Giltner, Nebraska farmer and member of NCGA’s Corn Board, in an NCGA news release.
“Achieving supply chain sustainability goals requires close collaboration throughout the value chain. This partnership between EDF and NCGA promises to be a powerful way to help translate corporate sustainability commitments into on-farm conservation that works for farmers and the environment,” said Rod Snyder, president of Field to Market, in an NCGA news release. 

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