The Million Acre Challenge connects stakeholders from across the region to share knowledge and effort toward the common goals of healthy soils agriculture, prosperous farm economies, and regional ecological improvements. Achieving the project’s goal of one million acres of healthy soils in Maryland would help the state’s agriculture sector meet its Chesapeake Bay restoration goals by decreasing the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and agricultural pesticides that flow into the Chesapeake Bay. Healthy soils grow better crops, contribute to more resilient farm economies, and address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and capturing carbon.
By connecting farmers with information, resources, peer-to-peer learning, training, and opportunities to influence policy decisions that support healthy soils, the Million Acre Challenge recognizes farmers as leaders in promoting a more resilient, healthy regional agricultural economy and ecosystem.
The value of healthy soil agricultural practices is recognized globally; we focus on highlighting and implementing these concepts on a local level, always mindful of our Maryland farmers’ specific strengths and needs. We are a big tent organization that brings together producers from different types and sizes of farms as well as people from a wide variety of backgrounds. We believe farmer leadership and inquiry are key to creating change in our region’s agricultural economy and ecosystem. We strive to increase access to existing programming and information around healthy soils and to create that programming where it does not already exist. We take an osprey’s eye view of the entire Bay watershed in our consolidation of resources and data, as well as a worm’s eye view of helping individual farms set and achieve their own goals through our promotion of farmer-to-farmer learning opportunities and on-the-ground soil health research.