Two men in a farm field. Improved soil health. Everyone profits. Everyone thrives.
Partnership Two farmers shake hands in a farm field. ©

Food & Water Stories

A Healthy, Profitable Future Starts with a Conversation

When farmers and landowners work together to improve soil health, everyone profits and everyone thrives.

With rich soils and abundant freshwater, Midwest farms are among the most productive lands on earth. More than 60 percent of the region’s farmlands are rented lands, and for generations, these farms have run on trust and handshakes between farmers and landowners. This trust remains the farm’s greatest untapped resource. All it takes to unleash its potential is a conversation.

Most farmers and landlords have long-standing, deep relationships—with trust earned and seasoned through the challenges of unpredictable weather, market swings and the shared commitment to run a productive and profitable farm. Yet formal collaboration between farmers and landlords around the use of soil health and nutrient management practices on rented farmland acres remains low. Many conservation practices require lengthy implementation periods and incur additional capital costs before their economic and conservation benefits can be achieved—meaning landowner and farmer collaboration is essential.  

Together, landowners and farmers can collaborate to adopt conservation agriculture practices that not only improve their respective bottom lines, but ensure a healthier landscape for growing our food, safeguarding our waterways and creating a sustainable food system for a growing world.

Everyone profits. Everyone thrives. It all starts with a conversation.

Check out the resources here to begin conversations and expand collaborations on co-investing in a healthy, profitable future.

Resources for Landowners and Farmers

The resources here can help farmers and landowners start conversations and begin collaborations about the benefits of conservation agriculture.

  • Cover image of Conservation Conversation guidebook.

    Unleashing the Potential of Rented Farmland

    Together landowners and farmers can reap the financial and sustainability rewards of conservation. All it takes is starting the discussion. Learn About Conservation Conversations

  • Cover image of Conservation Conversation guidebook.

    Multi-Year Leases and Conservation Co-Investment Strategies

    Landowners and farmers are co-investors in farmland. Working together on conservation strategies can benefit both parties. Learn About Co-Investing