Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Partnership Welcomes Two New Members, Vital to a New Theory of Change Model

Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Partnership Welcomes Two New Members, Vital to a New Theory of Change Model

ISAP is comprised of diverse organizations that work collaboratively to increase technical capacity of agricultural professionals and to utilize data and consistent messaging to encourage the adoption of in-field and edge-of-field practices to reduce nutrient loss, while minimizing risk and increasing profits of the farmer.

DEKALB, Ill. – The Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Partnership, ISAP, is excited to welcome Illinois Soybean Association and Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition as new members to its current 12-member partnership. The expanded membership advances ISAP’s overall purpose of meeting goals identified in the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy and achieving environmental outcomes.

“Illinois Soybean Association is excited to be joining the Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership to collaborate with organizations and encourage soybean producers in Illinois to adopt sustainable and profitable production and nutrient management practices,” expresses David Wessel, Illinois Soybean Association At-Large Director and Utilization Committee Chairman. “ISAP programs align with ISA’s strategy of leveraging tools and technology to help improve profitability and sustainability. With support from ISA and other partners, ISAP will deliver programs on sustainability, soil health, and nutrient management to soybean producers and industry professionals.”

In 2020, ISAP members developed an organizational “Theory of Change” to ensure its work will be effective. Core strategies identified in the Theory of Change include: increasing farmer recognition in the economic value of conservation practices; serving as the clearinghouse for soil health and conservation drainage education; and, accelerating the adoption of conservation practices that improve soil health, carbon cycling, and water quality. A three-year action plan was also created, outlining priorities under the banners of Policy, Education, Communications, Science, and Governance.

“Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition is looking forward to contributing to the collaborative efforts of ISAP. With the experience and expertise of the partners involved, we think that the efforts of ISAP will increase the pace and scale of practices being implemented and help make the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy a success story,” states Keegan Kult, Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition Executive Director.

While the plan identifies and prioritizes opportunities for ISAP, many of the undertakings are extensions of activities or programs already underway or will be initiated throughout 2021. Adjustments to the plan may be needed in response to changes in partner capacities and opportunities within Illinois agriculture.

More information can be found online at https://ilsustainableag.org/about/

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As a coordinated and consistent group, ISAP focuses on messaging, outreach, training and education for farmers and their trusted advisors to bring together and disseminate new information and lessons learned in plain, practical language. Members work collaboratively to amplify the programs of each organization, share resources to gain efficiencies and identify synergies in achieving soil health and nutrient goals. ISAP’s mission is to create a network to support a systems approach on agriculture lands to improve soil health and reduce nutrient loss. ISAP’s members include: The Nature ConservancyAmerican Farmland Trust, Precision Conservation ManagementIllinois CornIllinois Central CollegeThe Wetlands InitiativeThe Zea Mays FoundationSoil Health PartnershipIllinois Land Improvement Contractors AssociationAssociation of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation DistrictsIllinois Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, University of Illinois Extension, Agriculture Drainage Management Coalition, and Illinois Soybean Association.

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