Policy

MCP engages policymakers and government agencies at the local, regional, state and federal levels to support farmers and ranchers. The findings and implications of MCP’s scientific research provide the evidence for MCP’s policy work. MCP policies build on existing infrastructure for conservation agriculture and soil health provided by the Resource Conservation District, NRCS, Marin Agricultural Land Trust and the local Agricultural Commission and UC Extension.

Member organizations provide education to agencies and elected officials, participate in the creation of new management tools and advocate for policies that provide financial and technical assistance for carbon farming, on-farm emissions reduction and compost production and use. A major area of focus is ensuring that climate policies, programs and funding support climate-friendly agriculture. Since 2009 MCP has successfully developed or played a role in creating an interlocking suite of policies, planning practices and measurement tools to enable the deployment of carbon management practices across the agricultural sector.

At the center of MCP’s policy work is the Marin RCD. Resource Conservation Districts, or Soil and Water Conservation Districts, are independent local agencies that exist in almost every county across the United States. They are nonregulatory, serve as technical assistance providers and help producers in planning, securing funding and implementing conservation practices that build soil and protect other natural resources. The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, land trusts, the local Agricultural Commissioner's Office, Cooperative Extension and private consultants can also provide support for carbon farm planning and implementation. Building off this base of technical assistance and funding that can be obtained from these existing agricultural institutions, MCP is developing new policies and market branding to provide further financial resources to farmers and ranchers for enhancing soil organic matter.