The Million Acre Challenge launched in 2020 in pursuit of a bold vision: to grow one million acres of healthy soils in Maryland by 2030. We are a farmer-focused hub for networking, resources, and research to inspire and innovate towards regenerative agriculture.
In Year One, we built a solid foundation with farmers, consumers, service providers, and funders to share resources and spur action. In 2020, the Million Acre Challenge:
- Engaged 30 Maryland farmers managing 4,000 acres in Pasa Sustainable Agriculture’s Soil Health Benchmark Study
- Convened our Business Case working group including Extension economists, farmers, and consultants to conduct and analyze research into the potential profitability of regenerative agriculture
- Engaged over 150 farmers in soil health programming and peer-to-peer learning events
- Positioned the coalition to actively engage for farmer-driven statewide regenerative agriculture policy
…and much more!
“Soil health is critical to our survival as a species.” – Bob Arnold, Arnold Farms, Chestertown, Maryland
As we look to the future, we’ve set some ambitious goals. In 2021 we will:
- Enroll at least 150 farms of all sizes and production systems in the Challenge
- Begin the process of engaging 30 producers in our soil health systems-focused Regional Conservation Partnership Program project with NRCS
- Conduct management surveys and collect soil health data on approximately 45 farms as part of Pasa’s ongoing Soil Health Benchmark Study
- Develop case studies demonstrating transition costs and benefits for three major production systems in Maryland
- Engage at least 150 farmers in meaningful soil health learning through our peer-to-peer Soil Health Hubs, Soil School, Organic Transitions Project, regional conferences, demonstration days, and workshops
- Spread the word about the benefits of healthy soil and regenerative production to consumers, policymakers, and the media
…All to reach our goal of one million acres of healthy soils in Maryland by 2030.
You can learn more about our Year One accomplishments and our visions for the future in the Million Acre Challenge 2020 Annual Report.