Agriculture and Food

Keystone Policy Center helps food and agriculture stakeholders identify responsible and sustainable solutions to meet the needs of a growing global population. By 2050, the world population is projected to exceed 9 billion people. Shifting dietary preferences will also increase the pressure to produce more food, fiber, and fuel in a less predictable climate with fewer natural resources. Keystone grows solutions from the ground up, working with coalitions of producers, agribusinesses, food and retail companies, NGOs, researchers, and public sectors leaders to identify strategies, partnerships, metrics, and best practices to pilot and scale through collaboration and collective action. We help foster science-based, market-focused approaches that enable the evolution of our food systems toward sustainable futures that meet the needs of all stakeholders.

Featured Projects

Decarbonization Dialogue

Keystone partnered with Great Plains Institute to convene leaders from the power, transportation, and agriculture sectors to develop comprehensive policy recommendations to phase out carbon emissions throughout the economy. The recommendations were developed by stakeholders with diverse interests and reflect months of dialogue between and among sector-specific working groups. They have bipartisan, cross-sectoral support, priming them to be advanced by lawmakers in Congress. Learn More

Honey Bee Health Coalition

Honey bees support more than $20 billion in U.S. and Canadian agriculture annually. Faced with recent declines in honey bee health, the Keystone Policy Center brought together representatives of beekeepers, growers, researchers, government agencies, agribusinesses, conservation groups, manufacturers and brands, and other key partners. Officially convened in 2014, the Honey Bee Health Coalition is working to help improve honey bee hive management and nutrition, increase forage for bees, control crop pests while safeguarding pollinator health, and enhance public-private outreach, communications, and education. Learn More

Farmers for Monarchs

Following recent declines in monarch butterfly populations, the Keystone Policy Center brought together a diverse group of committed stakeholders, including scientists, conservationists, farmers, and the private sector, to find collaborative solutions to strengthen monarch populations and habitat. Initial conversations were held in spring of 2015 by a group that became the Monarch Collaborative. In 2021, the group changed its name to Farmers for Monarchs – a Keystone Collaborative. It leads ongoing efforts to develop collaborative strategies to promote and implement actions that will support monarchs in agricultural landscapes. Learn more

Farm Labor Practices Group

The Farm Labor Practices Group is a multi-stakeholder initiative committed to improving farm labor practices on farms and thereby enhancing the farm worker’s experience. The Farm Labor Practices Group brings together key industry stakeholders, including growers/farmers, farm worker member organizations, manufacturers and others who sell agricultural products, U.S. Department of Labor, and non-governmental organizations. Keystone Policy Center facilitates the work of the Farm Labor Practices Group. Learn More

Field to Market

Our ability to feed future generations depends on developing better, more sustainable way to produce food — throughout the supply chain. Recognizing this challenge, the Keystone Policy Center convened Field to Market®, the Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture in 2007 as a collaborative dialogue aimed at improving the sustainability of the U.S. commodity agriculture supply chain. Since then and through Keystone’s stewardship, Field to Market grew into a diverse, collaborative nonprofit with a membership comprised of grower associations, agribusinesses, food packagers and retailers, conservation organizations, universities, and federal agency partners. Learn More

Strategic Thought Partnership

Keystone Policy Center has a four-decade history of engagement with diverse stakeholders in the agriculture sector supporting advancement and creating broad impact. This history, panorama of perspectives, and understanding of trends is valuable for stakeholders increasingly focused on establishing, evaluating and improving sustainability initiatives focused on responsible environmental and societal outcomes. These partnerships deliver increased strategic impact for organizations, growers, and the environment. Stakeholders can work directly with Keystone to undertake strategic planning and partnership assessments, conduct internal analyses of existing organizational initiatives, and offer recommendations to achieve desired outcomes. These one-on-one or smaller group engagements may result in internal policy changes and strategic shifts, external collaboration, or broader cross-sector dialogue based on identified needs.

Agriculture and Food Projects Featured in Keynotes Podcast

Past Projects

Midwest Row Crop Collaborative

The Midwest Row Crop Collaborative is a diverse coalition of leading companies and conservation groups working to expand agricultural solutions that protect air and water quality and enhance soil health while remaining committed to producing enough food to feed the growing global population. Keystone facilitated MRCC’s work catalyzing education and on-field practice change in three pilot states: Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska through engagement with the Soil Health Partnership, Sustainability Programming for Ag Retailers (SPARC), supporting FFA via a Consumer Education Campaign, priority watershed programming, as well as state and national policy engagement. Learn More

Food Waste

Food waste poses serious challenges for families and the world alike — from wasted resources to climate change. In 2016, Keystone led discussions aimed at confronting this global challenge through collaborative strategies, information sharing, and coordinated action. Learn More

Sustainable Beef

As global demand for beef increases, the sustainability of production from the ranch to the retail store has become and increasing focus of the entire beef supply chain. The Keystone Policy Center facilitated four stakeholder workshops on beef sustainability in 2013 and 2014 to highlight innovations and sustainability practices in action and discuss challenges and opportunities facing ranchers, feeders, packers, processors, food and retail companies, and conservation interests.

Maryland Managed Pollinator Protection Plan Summit

In June 2014, President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency to engage state agencies in developing Managed Pollinator Protection Plans (MP3s) to mitigate risk to honey bees and other managed pollinators. The Keystone Policy Center worked with the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the University of Maryland to plan and facilitate a statewide MP3 summit for 70 stakeholders, along with conducting a stakeholder assessment leading up to the event. The summit enabled state agencies and key stakeholders to discuss and identify significant opportunities to promote managed pollinator health. It also established a framework for open communication and collaboration as the Maryland Department of Agriculture develops and implements the state’s MP3.