AGree Conservation and Crop Insurance Task Force


Recent News:

  • Press Release: New USDA Guidance on Cover Crop Termination Will Improve Conservation, Provide Flexibility for Farmers (July 9, 2019)
  • Letter: 8 Senators Sign Letter Urging USDA Action on Cover Crops (June 6, 2019)

About the Task Force & Membership:

The Task Force  is a diverse group of experts – including agricultural producers, researchers and academics, former USDA leadership, and representatives from farmer-based organizations, and environmental and conservation NGOs.  The Task Force’s goal is to lay the groundwork for increased adoption of conservation practices across the United States, while maintaining a viable and defensible federal crop insurance program.

The group works collaboratively with diverse interests to devise practical strategies for empowering farmers to adopt conservation practices on working lands while maintaining a viable crop insurance program.

The group successfully advocated for several key provisions in the 2018 farm bill:

  • Stronger data management systems at USDA that would give researchers the ability to study the impacts of conservation practices on crop yields, farm and ranch profitability, and environmental outcomes, while maintaining producer privacy and anonymity
  • Improved federal guidance on conservation practices that will remove roadblocks for producers and facilitate widespread adoption of conservation practices

Consensus guiding principles govern the Task Force’s work. Since 2013, members have produced research and analysis, actively engaged with USDA and members of Congress, and established trusted relationships with key agricultural stakeholders across the country. They are focused on building broad support for practical solutions that are grounded in peer-reviewed research.

The Task Force is an initiative of AGree, which drives positive change in the food and agriculture system by connecting and challenging leaders from diverse communities to elevate food and agriculture as a national priority. AGree is housed at Meridian Institute, a nonprofit that designs and facilitates collaborative solutions to improve lives, the economy, and the environment.


Robert Blair: Three Canyon Farms

Larry Clemens: The Nature Conservancy

Alyssa Charney: National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

Pipa Elias: The Nature Conservancy

Callie Eideberg: Environmental Defense Fund

Suzy Friedman: Environmental Defense Fund

*Dave Gagner: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Ferd Hoefner: National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

*Wayne Honeycutt: Soil Health Institute

*Bruce Knight: Strategic Conservation Solutions, Former Chief of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

John Larson: American Farmland Trust

Scott Marlow: Rural Advancement Foundation International

Carl Mattson: George Mattson Farms, Inc.

*Stephanie Mercier: Farm Journal Foundation

James Moseley: AGree Co-Chair, and Former Deputy Secretary of USDA

Kellis Moss: Ducks Unlimited

*Rob Myers: USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

*William Salas: Applied GeoSolutions

Ryan Stockwell: National Wildlife Federation

Eric Washburn: Windward Strategies

Kristin Weeks Duncanson: Duncanson Growers

Joshua Woodard: Cornell University

Paul Wolfe: Walton Family Foundation

Fred Yoder: Yoder Ag Services

* Not involved in any lobbying activities related to the CCITF.