The Noble Research Institute in Ardmore, Oklahoma, has announced the launch of a program designed to quantify the ecologic and economic benefits of land stewardship.
The Noble Land Stewardship Program will work to provide farmers, ranchers, and land managers with information needed to make timely decisions within their current enterprises as well as a mechanism to help them fully understand the financial value of their ecological contributions to society and position them to participate in ecosystem services markets as they emerge.
As part of the effort, the institute has launched a pilot program to gather data in four management areas: ecological efficiency, production efficiency, soil resource management, and water resource management. Agricultural consultants contracted by Noble will enlist the help of producers in Oklahoma and Texas to begin testing the program, with the goal of creating a market where good land stewards are rewarded with performance-based economic benefits.
"Managing landscapes based on land stewardship principles provides benefits that impact every single consumer and society at large, from cleaner water to sequestered carbon," said Jeff Goodwin, Noble Research Institute conservation stewardship lead and a pasture and range consultant. "The key is quantifying, verifying, and subsequently valuing and marketing these metrics for our producers."