Million Acre Challenge

The Million Acre Challenge helps Maryland farmers build soil health, increase farm profitability, and improve water quality — while making farms resilient and active in the face of climate change. This farmer-focused collaborative uses soil health science, economics, education, and incentives to achieve its mission.

The Million Acre Challenge is a collaborative project of Fair Farms (a campaign of Waterkeepers Chesapeake), Future Harvest CASA, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, The Hatcher Group, and The Institute for Local Self Reliance.

Project partners work closely with farmers, farm educators, agencies, scientists and consumers to supply critical tools and resources that support soil health in Maryland and throughout the region. The Million Acre Challenge aims to catalyze this growing movement to achieve no fewer than one million acres of healthy soil in Maryland by 2030.

Tools and resources for farmers:

  • Offering free testing for farmers from the Cornell Comprehensive Assessment of Soil Health to provide in-depth information about the health of their soil relative to other farms and key management practice recommendations.
  • Opportunities for farmers to learn from other farmers about innovations, strategies, and successes.
  • Profitability models that demonstrate how soil health can reduce economic tisk and improve farmers’ bottom lines.
  • Tools for informing consumer buying decisions that can spur demand for food grown in healthy soil.
  • Practical resources that support research, education, and incentives for soil health practices in our region.
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