How To Incentivize Producers And Retailers To Adopt Sustainable Farming Practices

Read the full story in Forbes.

Animal agriculture has become a divisive industry as environmentalists and animal welfare activists criticize the “factory farms” for contributing to climate change and harmful treatment of animals. In response, there has been a lot of innovation in animal production and farming techniques since the turn of the 21st century, from plant-based meat alternatives to technological advancements that have allowed a single farmer to feed 5 families in the 1800s to now 168 families. 

Still, consumers are demanding more and more of retailers — they want to know that their animal proteins are sustainably sourced, and they want to know exactly how their purchase contributes positively to the overarching goal of creating an environmentally responsible food supply chain. And while retailers — especially major corporations — are eager to contribute (take, for example, the plant-based burger options that fast food chains like Burger King and McDonald’s), there is a gap in knowledge, as the global animal agricultural supply chain is both complex and byzantine. 

Enter the Environmentally Sourced Retailers Certification Program, an idea borne out of the Forbes AgTech Hackathon this past weekend. A team that spanned from Indianapolis to Bangalore, India, these three entrepreneurs — Chandler Chapman, Mallikarjun Malkiodeyar and Evan Wheeler — quickly identified an information and accountability gap between retailers (ex: McDonald’s) and producers (ex: feedlots). They sought to fill that gap with this program that would bring capital investment from corporations, which could then be used to propel and maintain sustainable farming practices without sacrificing quality, efficiency, or profits for the producers. 

Mapping a greener future on farms

Read the full story from Michigan State University.

When it comes to farming, becoming more sustainable can also mean becoming more profitable. So it’s only natural that farmers would look to Spartans for help going — and making — green.

Michigan State University researchers have garnered a nearly $2.6 million grant to work with farmers across the country to make their fields more eco-friendly while boosting their farms’ bottom lines. Led by MSU Foundation Professor Bruno Basso, the team is developing conservation practices that cut losses on unproductive plots and make the most out of more fruitful fields.

If Illinois could get its act together, clean tech investments would add $350 billion to economy

Read the full story at Solar Power World.

National business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) released results of a report that quantified significant economic benefits associated with investments in advanced energy deployment for the state of Illinois. The report, which was produced by international economics consultant Analysis Group for AEE, used an industry-standard modeling tool to estimate the impact of investing state or federal stimulus funds in advanced energy technologies, products, and services to boost economic activity in the wake of the COVID-19 slowdown.

The full report, Economic Impact of Stimulus Investment in Advanced Energy: An economic assessment of applying stimulus funds to advanced energy technologies, products, and services in Illinois, is available here.

Washed Ashore Creates Zoo of Sea Creatures for Plastic Waste Art Exhibit

Read the full story at Waste360.

French Impressionist Edgar Degas once stated, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”

While the late-19th century artist captured ballerinas in traditional mediums, Washed Ashore Founder and Creative Director Angela Haseltine Pozzi takes the meaning behind the phrase in a more literal sense.

The Oregon native and a community of volunteers work diligently on a daily basis to collect plastic waste of all shapes and sizes to make sea creatures that tower over curious museum-goers in a traveling art exhibit.

Illinois Regenerative Agriculture Initiative launches at University of Illinois

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is pleased to announce the Illinois Regenerative Agriculture Initiative (IRAI), a new home for regenerative agriculture research, education, and outreach. The IRAI launches this fall with grant support from Fresh Taste, bringing together researchers on campus and stakeholders in Illinois and beyond to create agriculture and food systems resilient to climate change, improve soil and water quality, support healthy communities, and enhance food security.

Columbia University Launches the World’s First ‘Carbon Dioxide Removal Law’ Database

Read the full story from the Columbia University Earth Institute.

Researchers at Columbia University has launched the world’s first database of carbon dioxide removal laws. The database, which is publicly available at, provides an annotated bibliography of legal materials related to carbon dioxide removal and carbon sequestration and use. The site has 530 resources on legal issues related to carbon dioxide removal, including such techniques as: direct air capture; enhanced weathering; afforestation/reforestation; bioenergy with carbon capture and storage; biochar; ocean and coastal carbon dioxide removal; ocean iron fertilization; and soil carbon sequestration. The database also includes 239 legal resources on carbon capture and storage, utilization, and transportation. New resources are constantly being added.

Snapshot Wisconsin’s data dashboard now open to the public

Snapshot Wisconsin, one of the Department of Natural Resources’ largest citizen science projects, opened its new data visualization tool to the public today. The data dashboard is a new tool that lets the public interact with data collected from approximately 2,000 cameras spread across the state to monitor wildlife.  

Snapshot Wisconsin is a citizen science program that provides a unique opportunity for individuals, families and students to get involved in monitoring the state’s valuable natural resources. Snapshot Wisconsin’s data helps inform wildlife management decisions across the state, such as providing fawn-to-doe ratios in each county every year.

Program volunteers host a network of trail cameras across the state that take “snapshots” of animals as they pass by. Additional volunteers then help classify the wildlife in the photos to generate a database of which species are seen by time and location. To date, approximately 47 million images have been collected by the Snapshot Wisconsin program.  

The data dashboard offers volunteers and the public a new way to engage directly with this data, letting people choose which information they want to visualize. At launch, the data for 18 wildlife species is available to explore, including what times of the day and year the species is most active and how the species is distributed across the state.

Data can be viewed for specific counties or state-wide, and the data from maps and graphs can even be downloaded to share with others. 

Learn more about the data dashboard in the newest Snapshot newsletter and access the data dashboard yourself.

Give The Snapshot Team Feedback By Taking Our Survey

The data dashboard is an evolving product with expanded features already in the works. Additional species will be added to the dashboard over time, and a larger pool of data will be added as more photos are classified. However, the Snapshot team wants to see feedback on the data dashboard.  

At the bottom of the dashboard is a short four-question survey where anyone can give feedback, such as which additional species could be included in the future. 

“One of the main goals of the data dashboard is to display the data in a way that is interpretable and meaningful to the general public, especially the volunteers,” said Ryan Bemowski, DNR data scientist and developer of the dashboard. “Snapshot wants to make sure they get a full picture of what their data is producing.”

If there is something else you wanted to see, consider giving feedback on the data dashboard.  

Join Snapshot Wisconsin By Hosting Your Own Trail Camera Or Classify Photos Online 

Snapshot Wisconsin is always looking for people who want to contribute to science and monitor the wildlife in Wisconsin. Thousands of volunteers from Wisconsin and across the globe have already joined Snapshot Wisconsin by hosting trail cameras or classifying Snapshot photos online.

Visit Snapshot Wisconsin on the DNR website to learn more about the program and get involved!  

Beyond emissions: The life of a carbon molecule

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Carbon is everywhere. Carbon atoms flow through all living organisms, from the atmosphere to the earth to the oceans and back again.

But carbon is also moving constantly through the global economy, which historically has been powered by burning fossil fuels for energy. As a result, carbon dioxide (CO2) and other emissions have risen dramatically since the industrial revolution, presenting a daunting array of challenges for people, planet and prosperity.

As the most prevalent of the greenhouse gases (GHGs), CO2 plays an outsize role in global climate change — for example, it accounted for 81 percent of U.S. emissions in 2018. If human activity, including economic activity, is the primary driver of global warming, it only makes sense that an effective solution must start with changing that behavior. But how does one go about shifting the actions of thousands of businesses around the world?

The sustainability difference in processing dairy, nondairy proteins

Read the full story at Dairy Foods.

A first-of-its-kind landscape survey shows the effects processing steps have on the sustainability of dairy and nondairy proteins.

‘Recycling Today’ boosts scrap metal content in 2021

Read the full story at Recycling Today.

The Valley View, Ohio-based Recycling Today Media Group has announced the creation of a new supplemental publication titled Scrap Recycling. The new publication will carry the tagline “Dedicated to the business of scrap management and recycling” and will be distributed in print along with the group’s flagship title, Recycling Today, three times in 2021. Its content also will be available online at