A new U.S. Sustainability Alliance report provides insight into the laws, policies, and programs that support U.S. sustainable agriculture. While there is a perception in Europe that U.S. agricultural production is light on oversight, a robust framework of laws governs the sustainability and conservation of U.S. land and waters, some dating back more than a century.

U.S. Sustainable Agriculture: Laws, Policies, and Programs aims to provide context and an accessible introduction to key federal legislation in four areas: soil health, water, climate change, and biodiversity. It covers notable regulatory calendar dates and events, regulatory developments, and government funding and assistance programs.

David Green, USSA’s senior policy advisor, says, “The U.S. approach to agricultural sustainability differs from that in Europe. The United States puts more emphasis on voluntary initiatives and market-based approaches. However, this does not mean there is no regulatory oversight as some 20 U.S. federal laws and policies, in addition to those at the state level, govern conservation, the environment, and the protection of waterways.”

He continues, “We hope that the new USSA guide will highlight the reality of U.S. sustainable agriculture and the laws and policies that support it -and convey our long history of sustainability, dating back to 1871 and the creation of the first federal agency dedicated to natural resource conservation.”