The future of agriculture—what we grow, where we grow it, and how we grow it—profoundly influences environmental conservation as well as human health and well-being. There is a unique opportunity to transform agricultural systems in ways that address a range of social and environmental concerns while broadly strengthening the role of agriculture in society.
The Packard Foundation aims to improve the environmental performance of agriculture, while also ensuring a thriving agriculture and food system that meets the needs for nutrition, employment, and economic development.
The goal of the Agriculture subprogram is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen pollution caused by agriculture in the United States and by biofuels globally.
While many policy and management reforms that improve environmental outcomes also yield social benefits, these win-win outcomes are not guaranteed. The Agriculture subprogram only pursues strategies and outcomes that do not harm low-income communities and also complement or advance efforts to fight hunger, improve nutrition, and reduce obesity rates.
The Agriculture subprogram supports three related grant portfolios:
- Food and Farm Policy and Practice (U.S. focus) portfolio aims to:
- Achieve full funding of agricultural conservation programs and better target existing ones
- Ensure that farm subsidies and crop insurance are tied to environmental performance, and
- Promote farmer and industry adoption of improved environmental practices.
- Climate Policy and Practice (U.S. focus) portfolio aims to:
- Promote the inclusion of high-quality agricultural greenhouse gas reductions in climate policy, and
- Encourage farm and industry adoption of practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Biofuels Policy and Markets (global focus) portfolio aims to:
- Promote globally harmonized sustainability standards
- Strengthen the inclusion of sustainability criteria in government policies, and
- Promote corporate adoption of sustainability criteria.
Because of our strong focus on policy change, we generally do not fund resource management projects or place-based work. We do not fund basic research that would be eligible for support through the National Science Foundation (NSF), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), or agriculture research universities. Nor do we fund research designed to promote specific biofuel feedstocks (e.g., corn or algae).