It’s the nation’s breadbasket – blessed with miles and miles of fertile farmland. But it’s under threat.

With flat prairies, plentiful water, and rich, deep soils, the Midwest is one of the most intensely farmed regions in the world. We depend on it for many of our grocery staples – from corn and soybeans to wheat and meat.

But the Midwest's abundance of fertile farmland has sometimes led us to take it for granted. We're rapidly paving over some of the most productive soils and farmland in the world.

At the same time, tons of prime topsoil washes away – and we can't afford to lose it. In the Midwest, we need to save the land – not just by the acre but also by the inch.

Why are Midwest farms and ranches so important?

What are the challenges?


The region's prime farmland soils and globally significant agricultural industry make it an important focus of our work.

Active in the Midwest since the early 1980s, AFT:

  • Works hand-in-hand with farmers to help them protect drinking water and reduce soil erosion by adopting conservation practices like cover crops
  • Engages the growing demographic of women landowners through "Conservation Learning Circles"
  • Develops innovative solutions to increase conservation on a large-scale – for instance through the nation's first interstate water quality trading market in the Ohio River Basin
  • Helped more than a thousand vegetable and fruit farmers reduce their use of pesticides on more than 90,000 acres

Our work would not be possible without you. Join us.


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Midwest Office Staff