There’s a lot of buzzwords floating around ag right now, and two of them have stuck out to me in particular. What is a coalition? Why are there ag alliances? And why do we need them?
Coalitions and alliances are grassroots, not-for-profit loose groups of people united around a concept or goal. Oftentimes, these folks have disparate views in many ways, but the common value of the coalition or alliance brings them together.
Take for example the Indiana Agriculture Coalition for Renewable Energy (IN-ACRE) which I founded in 2019 and talked about in a March post.
- This coalition of individual growers and landowners (member type) in Indiana supports Indiana’s Right to Farm laws as they apply to renewable energy projects (solar, wind, digesters, geothermal) on agricultural land (uniting goal).
- The coalition educates local officials, neighbors, and the public about proposed renewable energy projects (spread knowledge), showcases current Indiana renewable energy projects on ag land (networking), and gathers and publishes technical and specific guides for members and future members to use (act as a clearinghouse).
- The members of the coalition and the coalition administrators, including myself, meet several times a year by phone to cover recent news articles, project progress, new technologies, current challenges, and how to improve our reach and effectiveness (place for discussion).
A coalition is typically made up of individuals; an alliance is typically made up of organizations (companies, associations, co-ops, and more). Some coalitions and alliances will break these “rules” and definitions, but overall, the kinds of members (individual vs. groups) are an easy-to-distinguish difference.
What questions come to your mind next? What more do you want to know? Since I’ll be covering this topic for the next 4 weeks, I’d love to answer your questions and comments in a future post. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through a LinkedIn message this week!