THE SPARC INITIATIVE
Knowledge & Resources
Dig in to the Sustainability Programming for Ag Retailers & Certified Crop Consultants (SPARC) resources and online learning modules below to learn more about offering sustainability services to your farmer-customers and documenting your collective impact. We are busy creating more online learning modules and guides to help you develop a sustainability program, make the business case to your farmers-customers and measure the success of your efforts.
Know the Issues: Fact Sheets
This set of fact sheets are meant for you to share with your clients and start the discussion about how—with your help— farmers can better understand the challenges and opportunities of sustainable agriculture, where they can improve the sustainability performance and efficiency of their operation, how to demonstrate progress and share their story. If you would like to customize these fact sheets with your organization's logo and contact information, please contact Field to Market's Educational Resource Manager to request the design files.
SPARC Sustainability Training Manual
This manual can be used by ag retailers who wish to train their staff on sustainability. Intended as a companion to the online modules, the manual offers discussion points and key questions to help teams gain a deeper understanding of the value to both their clients and their business of offering products and services that support improved environmental outcomes.
Online Learning Modules
Hosted in the American Society of Agronomy’s Online Learning Classroom, this series of learning modules covers the what, why and how of agricultural sustainability and the role of the trusted adviser in driving continuous improvement.
- Sustainability 101 for CCAs: Find out what customers and food companies mean when they ask for "sustainable" products and how sustainability is good for agricultural communities.
- Sustainability 101 for Ag Retailers: Find out what customers and food companies mean when they ask for "sustainable" products and how sustainability is good for agricultural communities.
- Environmental Sustainability Metrics: Learn about the way sustainability is measured and reported in commodity crops and hear about industry sustainability goals.
- Practices and Services Supporting Sustainable Agronomy: Learn how a number of agronomic practices can improve the sustainability performance of your clients' operations.
- Measuring Sustainability Success: Explore how to quantify the impact of offering sustainability services to your farmer clientele and capture value from collecting and managing sustainability data.
- The Farmer Business Case for Sustainability: Discover the potential financial benefits your clients can realize as they improve the environmental performance and efficiency of their operations.
- Developing a Sustainability Program: Take a closer look at the "why" and "how" of developing a sustainability program at your ag retail business and supporting your clients' journey toward better environmental outcomes.
Partners in Sustainable Ag
A partnership between the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) International Certified Crop Advisers Program, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, the SPARC Initiative is focused on equipping trusted advisers to deliver improved sustainability outcomes.
With support from the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative.