About Author

John Osthus
John Osthus

John has nearly three decades of agrimarketing leadership experience, helping build stronger relationships between business, people and the environment. John has applied a life-long passion for farming, business strategy, science (and food), to proactively help address sustainability challenges.

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John Osthus

The FieldRise team is hosting a webinar on July 1 at 2 PM or July 14 at 2 PM Central Time that we hope will start a positive new sustainability conversation.

Everyone agrees food sustainability is a top priority. But too many people also agree vitally important progress can be too complex, too slow, too costly, too subjective, and too controversial.  As a new sustainability practice measurement company called FieldRise, we aim to help change that. Our webinar will cover:

 

  1. Building bridges between diverse viewpoints
  2. Speeding practice and outcome measurement success
  3. Ensuring sustainability program objectivity
  4. Getting farmers enthusiastic about having their sustainability measured
  5. Harnessing geek science, Greek math, obscure sociology and unusual marketing to depolarize viewpoints and guarantee greater measurement program success

 

The FieldRise Frontier sustainability measurement and outreach program was created by the family farmers of 12 state and national crop and livestock associations who teamed up with University of Wisconsin faculty to develop a breakthrough way to move food sustainability forward faster. Our peer-reviewed methods proved successful on more than 1.2 million acres, in 20 states and provinces with more than 1,200 crop and livestock farmers.  FieldRise is a private spinoff of that pilot program.

We hope you will join us.

Webinar Links (Identical Sessions):

Wednesday, July 01, 2015 at 2:00 PM Central Daylight Time. https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/784062197

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 2:00 PM Central Daylight Time. https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/333985637

Dial-in Number: 1-857-232-0156 Conference Code: 220284

John Osthus

FieldRise hosted two Webinars in late April attended by soybean industry leaders from state and national organizations to share results of innovative Check-off funded research documenting the advanced stewardship practice status of soybean farmers.

Presentation: Soybean Sustainability Data and Outreach Ideas- April Webinar

Assessment Results: Midwest Soybean Sustainability Report

Producers throughout the Midwest stepped up to participate in an innovative assessment created by farmers who founded the National Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture (NISA) using Checkoff, farm association grant funding.  The NISA system uses a novel combination of field-relevant questions and an innovative peer-reviewed analytic method to objectively measure crop-specific and whole-farm practices including social, economic and environmental criteria.

NISA spun off FieldRise as a research-park-style private corporation on Thanksgiving Day 2014.

The FieldRise Network includes a diverse mix of founders from national and state soybean groups, direct consumed crops and livestock organizations who are using the farm practice data to document current status, support decisions about stewardship programs to accelerate outcome progress, and build stronger relationships between farmers and the families they serve.

This histogram shows farmers are highly advanced in terms of sustainability practice adoption.  It also documents where industry has the greatest opportunities for fostering continuous practice advances.

This histogram shows farmers are highly advanced in terms of sustainability practice adoption. It also documents where the soybean industry has the greatest opportunities to foster continuous practice advances through stewardship programs.

Soybean field
John Osthus

Webinar Options/Dates

Option 1
April 28 – 10 AM to 11 AM (central)

Add to Calendar04/28/2015 10:00 AM04/28/2015 11:00 AMAmerica/Indiana/KnoxFieldRise: How Soybean Farmers are Teaming up to Define Sustainability
Webinar Dial-in Numbers
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/186729029
Conference dial-in Number: 1-857-232-0156
Conference Code: 220284
Meeting ID: 186-729-029
WebinarFieldRisejohn@fieldrise.comfalseMM/DD/YYYY
Option 2
April 30 – 11 AM to 12 PM (central)

Add to Calendar04/30/2015 11:00 AM04/30/2015 12:00 PMAmerica/Indiana/KnoxFieldRise: How Soybean Farmers are Teaming up to Define Sustainability
Webinar Dial-in Numbers
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/280856109
Conference dial-in Number: 1-857-232-0156
Conference Code: 220284
Meeting ID: 280-856-109
WebinarFieldRisejohn@fieldrise.comfalseMM/DD/YYYY
 

 

Please join Checkoff/ASA/QSSB leaders from throughout the U.S. for an online session about how soybean farmers are teaming up to define sustainability, prove their success and build supply chain support for continuous advances. More than $1 million in farmer funds and countless hours made these sessions possible.

These sessions are where the FieldRise Network unveils the breakthrough practice data farmers captured using Checkoff funds. We also will offer complementary FieldRise Network support for your sustainability and FTO program success.

These identical sessions on April 28 and April 30 will recap how the farmers of the United Soybean Board, the American Soybean Association, and two QSSBs joined forces with other crop and livestock farmers to create an easy way to prove farm sustainability success and connect resource protection with farm revenue. Those 12 farm associations and University of Wisconsin faculty formed the National Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture (NISA) to help farmers answer increasing questions about sustainability. NISA’s pilot program proved successful, with more than 1,200 farmers completing the process, for more than 1.2 million acres across 20 commodity crops, specialty crops or livestock. On Thanksgiving Day 2014 NISA became a private company called FieldRise.

 

Session Highlights

  • An easy new way to document farm sustainability practice success and opportunities.
  • What was learned about soybean farm sustainability success.
  • Connecting sustainability practice advances to farm economics.
  • Increasing consumer understanding and acceptance of farm practices.
  • Reducing Freedom to Operate risks from “off-farm helpers.”
  • How we can team up to leverage this data without you spending any more money.
  • How future state or national Checkoff measurement and outreach can accelerate farm sustainability leadership.

 

Webinar Options/Dates

Option 1
April 28 – 10 AM to 11 AM (central)

Add to Calendar04/28/2015 10:00 AM04/28/2015 11:00 AMAmerica/Indiana/KnoxHow Soybean Farmers are Teaming up to Define Sustainability
Webinar Dial-in Numbers
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/186729029
Conference dial-in Number: 1-857-232-0156
Conference Code: 220284
Meeting ID: 186-729-029
WebinarFieldRisejohn@fieldrise.comfalseMM/DD/YYYY
Option 2
April 30 – 11 AM to 12 PM (central)

Add to Calendar 
04/30/2015 11:00 AM04/30/2015 12:00 PMAmerica/Indiana/KnoxHow Soybean Farmers are Teaming up to Define Sustainability
Webinar Dial-in Numbers
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/280856109
Conference dial-in Number: 1-857-232-0156
Conference Code: 220284
Meeting ID: 280-856-109
WebinarFieldRisejohn@fieldrise.comfalseMM/DD/YYYY
 

 

(If neither time works for you, we’ll be happy to speak with you personally.)

 

Webinar Dial-in Numbers (Backup, in case the calendar buttons don’t work for you)

April 28, 10 AM: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/186729029
April 30, 11 AM: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/280856109

Conference dial-in Number: 1-857-232-0156
Conference Code: 220284
Meeting ID: 811-269-077

John Osthus

Please join the FieldRise Network in welcoming the Cranberry Institute as a new Network member!  This international organization leads growers and the industry to success through health, agricultural and environmental stewardship research and education.  The Institute is supported by members that handle, process and sell cranberries on behalf of their growers.  We look forward to working with the Cranberry Institute on their sustainability solutions!

John Osthus

FieldRise is partnering with several other agriculture organizations to help develop a sustainability training track for Certified Crop Advisers. Additionally, FieldRise partners have been on the road extensively this winter, sharing progress through presentations at several state, regional and national professional meeting venues.

John Osthus

The FieldRise Frontier grower reports have been refined to give producers confidential, optional ideas for practices they can adopt to drive continuous advancement toward the Frontiers of Sustainability. The scorecards help start a new conversation that delivers key ROI to participating producers, their food chain customers and consumers.

John Osthus

Under the University of Wisconsin research umbrella, seven new commodity assessments are in development that will complement the existing whole-farm assessment and pork and beef assessment test pilots are wrapping up. These programs were developed with producers and key supply chain partners at the same table, and generate results that set realistic goals for advances. These assessments include:

• Onions
• Carrots
• Cucumbers
• Peppers
• Cabbage
• Red beets
• Dry beans

John Osthus

FieldRise has fully transitioned from its National Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture (NISA) roots. We’re now combining the data with audience engagement strategies to advance supply chain stewardship and business goals. Our Ph.D. agronomic, economics, and analytics experts measure practices with FieldRise Frontier surveys, then apply a novel, peer-reviewed statistical analysis method that ensures objectivity. Then our six audience engagement specialists help client communications teams use new strategies to support realistic advances and get progress recognized throughout the marketplace.

John Osthus

A diverse team of NISA farm groups have joined the FieldRise Network as founding members. Step one is helping each member put their existing assessment data to work with farmers and farm customers. This data is proving powerful in sparking positive new food chain conversations. Additional Network memberships are under discussion as association boards meet, and promising conversations about launching Frontier assessment programs continue with farm groups and global supply chain corporations. Founding Network members to date (more are likely soon):

• American Soybean Association
• Illinois Soybean Association
• Wisconsin Soybean Association
• Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association
• Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association
• Midwest Food Processors Association
• Wisconsin Pork Producers Association
• Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin

The groups were among national commodity, direct-consumed crop and livestock associations who helped launch the FieldRise pilot program, then called the National Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture. NISA began as a partnership between producer associations and the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

FieldRise association members advise the company on stewardship strategy, industry trends, farm practice measurement and field-to-family communications outreach to enhance relationships between agriculture and the people it serves.