Sustainable Agriculture Practice Standard PDF Print E-mail

Leonardo Academy is providing process administration to develop a national sustainable agriculture standard through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). All stakeholders are invited to help shape this standard under the ANSI process.

ANSI has established a balanced, transparent process for developing standards that is internationally recognized. Leonardo Academy, an ANSI-accredited standards development organization (SDO), will facilitate the process to ensure that all interested stakeholders have a place at the table.


SCS Commits to Transfer of SCS-001 Copyright

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) has officially committed to transferring the ownership of the copyright for any standard developed in this process to a charitable nonprofit organization. Transferring the standard copyright to a nonprofit has been the intention of SCS since the launch of this initiative, as is the commitment that any resulting standard will remain available to the public. These agreements have been documented in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), co-signed by SCS and Leonardo Academy on April 27, 2009.

With these commitments in hand, Leonardo Academy is launching a fundraising campaign to support both its ongoing facilitation of this standard development process, as well as Committee member and stakeholder participation. Our goal is to raise $400,000-500,000 per year to support these efforts. All contributions, large and small, are welcome. Our most immediate need is to raise funds to support the May 27-28, 2009 Standards Committee meeting in St. Charles, IL, particularly the travel expenses of several Committee members who will not be able to attend without financial support.

Learn more about our funding needs here. To make a donation to support this process, contact Amanda Raster ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 608-280-0255).

Open Seats within "User" Interest Category

Leonardo Academy is currently soliciting applications for three vacant seats on the Standards Committee, within the "User" interest category. Individuals or representatives of entities that use agricultural products--including retailers and restaurants, food service companies, product handlers, processors, distributors and manufacturers--and have an interest in engaging in the national dialogue on sustainable agriculture practices are encouraged to apply. Individuals who have previously submitted applications for this interest category will be considered in this round of selections. Applications are available for download here: Word or PDF.

Applications must be submitted by 12:00 pm CST on Monday, May 11, 2009. The new Committee members will be announced on Wednesday, May 13th. Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

Important Dates

  • Task Force Teleconferences

The dates and times for Task Force teleconferences are/were:

  • Reference Documents:  Wednesday, May 20th, 10:00-11:00 am (CST) (TENTATIVE)

Observers are invited to participate fully in the Task Force work. (More) For more information on Observer participation, please see below.

  • Application Deadline for Standards Committee, User Category Open Seats
    • May 11, 2009. New Standards Committee members will be announced May 13, 2009.
  • Standards Committee Meeting
    • May 27-28, 2009, Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles, IL.
      • Wednesday, May 27th: Breakfast and check-in, 8 am - 9 am. Committee meeting, 9 am -5 pm. Reception for Committee members and observers, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm.
      • Thursday, May 28th: Breakfast and check-in, 8 am - 9 am. Committee meeting, 9 am -4 pm.
    • Observers are invited to participate in this meeting of the Standards Committee, subject to Leonardo Academy's observer provisions. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you are interested in participating, either remotely or in-person.
    • The meeting agenda and additional meeting materials will be posted to this site in advance of the meeting.

Sustainable Agriculture Practice Standard Development Reference Documents

Standards Committee/Task Force Meeting Documents

Public Documents and Outreach April 2007 - September 2008

  • News
    • September 29, 2008 - First National Sustainable Agriculture Standard Setting Initiative Moves Into High Gear
    • October 28, 2008 - Call for Appliations: Open Seats on Sustainable Agriculture Standards Committee, User Interest Category
    • November 3, 2008 - Standards Committee Officers Selected to Lead Progress of National Sustainable Agriculture Standard
    • January 16, 2009 - ANSI Rules in Favor of Leonardo Academy on USDA Appeal - National Sustainable Agriculture Standard Process Continues With Robust Participation

Additional Information

Subcommittee Applications -- The subcommittee work is anticipated to start in the Spring, 2009. We will continue to accept applications from individuals who wish to participate on the non-voting subcommittees. Those interested are encouraged to submit an application, identifying their interest areas as related to the standard, which will be used to guide the Standards Committee on which issues and sector-specific annexes to proceed with during the standard development process. (Subcommittee application available in Word or PDF format)

Time Commitment for Committee Members -- The time commitment required of Standards Committee members is estimated to be up to 8 hours per month, including meetings/teleconferences, meeting preparations, reviewing documents, voting, corresponding, etc. Members who choose to take on a leadership role (i.e., the Chair and Secretary) will invest more of a time commitment in the development process. Also, members are free to join the subcommittees they are interested in, thereby increasing their time commitment.

Subcommittee and advisory group commitments will vary depending on the level of debate over the issues at hand. Participants can expect to devote up to 4 hours per month while their respective subcommittee or advisory group is still active. Depending on the issues being addressed by the Standards Committee at a given time, there may be periods of higher intensity for certain subcommittee groups, which will taper off as those subcommittee issues are resolved.

Committee Meetings: Frequency and Location -- Meetings by conference call will be the most common type of meeting for the Standards Committee in order to make these meetings convenient for the Committee members. When face-to-face meetings are scheduled, all attempts will be made to select a location that is convenient for the majority of committee members. For these meetings, arrangements may be made to include participation by conference call for those members who are unable to participate in person.

Observer Participation -- Observers are invited to participate in the Standards Committee and Task Force meetings and conference calls for the Sustainable Agriculture Practice Standard, subject to the provisions set forth in Leonardo Academy's Policy on Observer Participation. Observers to the Standards Commitee meetings will be accommodated on a first-come, first-serve basis, subject to the availability of space or capacity. However, observers will have the opportunity to engage fully in the work undertaken by the Task Forces. If you are interested in participating in the Standards Committee and/or Task Force meetings and conference calls as an observer, please fill out an application for observer status (Word format, PDF format). Applications can be submitted to Leonardo Academy by email ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or by mail (PO Box 5425, Madison, WI, 53705).


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