ISAP Partnership Releases Inaugural Annual Report
Since 2017, American Farmland Trust has been a founding and active member of the Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Partnership, or ISAP. ISAP brings together diverse partners from across Illinois, and I have the privilege of coordinating ISAP’s efforts to provide practical soil health, nutrient management, and farm resiliency information to farmers and their trusted advisors.
Our group has been hard at work this past year, and we are excited to have collaborated and created our first annual report! ISAP’s 2020 Annual Report highlights achievements to strengthen Illinois agriculture and expand partnership capacity amid an unexpected and challenging year. Working collaboratively with partners has been a key to AFT’s and ISAP’s accomplishments over the past year.
The annual report also features ISAP’s newly adopted “Theory of Change” that focuses our efforts toward meeting the goals of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) and achieving environmental outcomes that improve water quality and soil health across the state of Illinois. With a strong foundation, the newly adopted Theory of Change provides a coherent framework that will guide ISAP’s work in the coming years and ensures that all partners are working toward the collective vision.
The report features activities in each of ISAP’s four program pillars: Production Risk Management; Soil Health and In-field Management; Water Quality and Edge-of-Field; and Network of Practitioners. A personal highlight from 2020 was the June risk management webinar series, which emphasized the role of soil health practices in adapting to our changing climate and how farmers can use these practices to bolster their bottom line. You can view the webinar series on ISAP’s website, and I encourage you to look for upcoming webinars on climate and ecosystem markets.
In addition to providing quality and timely content, the risk management webinar series is a highlight because it exemplifies our ability to adapt to changing and uncertain work conditions. In large part, this is what farmers must do every year, and it is with great respect and humility that I strive to learn from and support them in this endeavor.
I am excited to advance AFT’s mission and to continue working closely with ISAP partners to improve Illinois agriculture for years to come.