Helping Farmers Become More Eco-Friendly

Rae Miller

By Rae Miller

Known & Grown, a program from the Missouri Coalition for the Environment that works to certify and promote eco-friendly farmers, is initiating a new process for transitioning farmers where we provide one-on-one assistance to farmers that want to implement more climate-friendly practices on their farms. This process is for farmers that currently use practices such as applying synthetic herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers and therefore would not qualify to join our Known & Grown program. With the launch of this new process, we will create a pathway for any farmer in the K&G footprint (currently 150 miles of St. Louis but we’ll be expanding across the entire state of Missouri and into bordering states), to implement climate-friendly practices and join the Known & Grown program. Once the farmer makes the transition with the support of our Sustainable Farming Specialist, they will be brought into the Known & Grown program where they will be connected with a network of small-scale, regenerative farmers here in the area, and they will have access to resources and our network of local food buyers that seek out Known & Grown farmer products. 

Our program exists to support small-scale, regenerative farmers because farmers that use these practices often face the most barriers to success. This is due to the fact that regenerative farming practices often require more time and more money to implement. With our transitioning process, we will work directly with the farmer to identify alternative methods that are specific to their farm needs and abilities. We will work with them to implement the new practices and provide technical assistance if any challenges arise. Working with farmers to implement these climate-friendly agriculture practices is a significant way to address the climate crisis as the agriculture industry is known to account for at least a quarter of the greenhouse gasses being emitted. Agriculture has the potential to not only reduce emissions but to sequester carbon and improve the health of our planet.

With the launch of this new program, we will be able to convert more acres of land to being managed with stewardship practices. Each farmer that joins the program is celebrated for their dedication to this important work and is promoted to buyers through our social media and educational campaigns. Climate friendly practices are not only what’s best for the health of our soil, water and air, but it’s also what’s best for the health of our communities. Known & Grown supports small-scale, regenerative, urban and rural farmers, many of which are beginners, women-owned, BIPOC, LGBTQ, or limited resources.

With the support of a farmer network, connection to local food purchasers, and one-on-one farming technical assistance, beginning and underserved farmers have a greater chance of sustaining their farming businesses and growing the local food movement.