Stephanie MercierSenior Policy and Advocacy Adviser

As senior policy and advocacy adviser for the Farm Journal Foundation, Stephanie Mercier helps implement the Foundation’s Farm Team program.

As senior policy and advocacy adviser for the Farm Journal Foundation, Stephanie Mercier helps implement the Foundation’s Farm Team program.

Articles By Stephanie Mercier

Jul 02, 2020

The Emerging Role of Cooperatives in African Agriculture

In Africa, where the vast majority of farmers are smallholders (on average cultivating about 5 acres according to a 2018 estimate by the OECD), it makes sense for such farmers to combine their forces by joining agricultural cooperatives, to create countervailing market power to wield against middlemen with an interest
Jun 25, 2020

Conservation and Your Farm

With Skip Hyberg This blog is the second in an occasional series on the factors that farmers should consider in determining whether or not to adopt conserving agricultural practices on their operations. Is conservation right for you and your farm? As long-term advocates of conservation agriculture, of course we’re going
Jun 17, 2020

U.S. Meat and Livestock Sector Takes Major Hit from COVID-19 Pandemic

The U.S. meat and livestock sector has been severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, manifesting in a number of ways. The beef and pork industries have published estimates of financial losses they expect to suffer in 2020 as a result, totaling nearly $19 billion between them. No independent estimate of
Jun 12, 2020

Taking Conservation to a Higher Level

With Skip Hyberg Evidence suggested that in many respects, the environmental gains from the adoption of conservation practices by U.S. farmers may have stalled in recent decades. Farm Journal Foundation, working with the Trust in Food division of Farm Journal Media, recently signed an agreement with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation
Jun 03, 2020

U.S. Biofuel Sector Under Siege

Going into 2020, supporters of the U.S. biofuels industry were cautiously optimistic--the U.S. corn and soybean supply was expected to recover from a rain-affected 2019/20 crop year, in which farmers were prevented from planting more than 20 million acres of cropland, primarily in the Midwest, due to extended spring flooding
May 26, 2020

African Countries Seek to Improve Trade Flows

Combined, the 54 countries on the continent of Africa imported nearly $83 billion worth of food and agricultural products on average between 2013 and 2017, according to data maintained by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Of that amount, the vast majority of shipments come from outside the continent
May 14, 2020

What are Food Deserts, and Why Do They Matter?

The concept of a “food desert,” which describes the phenomenon where low-income households have difficulty obtaining nutritious food because of limited or non-existent local supplies of such food, was first put forward in the early 1990’s in a study about access to food for residents of a public housing complex
May 01, 2020

U.S. Agricultural Sector Facing Additional Pressure Due to COVID-19

Prior to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, American farmers were already facing the likely continuation of a persistent decline in commodity prices and farm income for the 2020 crop year. Although U.S. farm income increased about 11 percent to $93.6 billion in 2019, that figure
Apr 24, 2020

USDA Response to COVID-19 Outbreak on Nutrition Issues

Among the earliest manifestations of public actions taken in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States was the decision by school districts around the country to shut down elementary and secondary schools. Such actions began on a scattered basis in the second week of March, in locations