SRAP Partners With Thriving Earth Exchange to Help Contract Growers Leave the Industrial Ag System



Media Contact:

Julie Wilson
Communications Manager
Socially Responsible Agriculture Project
(512) 665-8195

October 17, 2022

Claymont, Delaware—Socially Responsible Agriculture Project (SRAP) is pleased to announce its acceptance into an October 2022 cohort with American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange program, which connects communities with scientists and supports them as they work together to tackle local challenges related to natural hazards, natural resources, and climate change.

SRAP will work with Thriving Earth Exchange to launch a 6- to 18-month project that will advance research that supports SRAP’s newly launched Contract Grower Transition Program.

Our Contract Grower Transition Program looks for ways to help growers leave the industrial agriculture system by training them to work with communities impacted by factory farms.

As a community lead, SRAP will co-develop the project in collaboration with Thriving Earth Exchange to better understand the full supply chain considerations and systems of support needed to help producers successfully transition into alternative markets.

Craig Watts, Contract Grower Transition Program director at SRAP, said:

“Industrial livestock operations exploit small farmers, manipulate the marketplace, and drive independent producers out of business. SRAP is proud to partner with Thriving Earth Exchange to use our Contract Grower Transition Program to help more farmers move away from this destructive system and toward an agriculture model that prioritizes public health, the environment, and animal welfare.”

The project will explore the economic risks, impacts, and opportunities for transitioning out of production contract agriculture and into sustainable, pasture-based animal agriculture.

In addition, Thriving Earth Exchange will provide templates and personalized support, connections to communities with similar priorities, and opportunities to share the story of SRAP’s Contract Grower Transition Program and its impact.

Sherri Dugger, executive director of SRAP, said:

“We know that to transition out of a known farm enterprise into an unknown one comes with great risk. Ultimately, this research will help give us a much clearer picture of how SRAP and partner organizations can best help producers, either those already trapped in the production contract agriculture system or those considering buying into it. We are grateful to AGU’s Thriving Earth Exchange program for providing us with the needed expertise that will help us advocate for agriculture policy and resources to better support small, sustainably focused farms and networks of producers.”

By participating in this cohort, SRAP joins the Thriving Earth Exchange network, which is comprised of communities, scientists, and partner organizations around the world.

About SRAP

For more than 20 years, SRAP has served as a mobilizing force to help communities protect themselves from the damages caused by industrial livestock operations and to advocate for a food system built on regenerative practices, justice, democracy, and resilience. Learn more at

About Thriving Earth Exchange

Thriving Earth Exchange strengthens and enhances collaboration among communities, scientists, and partner organizations so that all communities can build healthy, resilient, thriving, just, and ecologically responsible futures. Learn more at