CASE STUDY: ENVIRONMENT
The Maryland Clean Agriculture Coalition
CLEAN AGRICULTURE FOR A CLEANER CHESAPEAKE BAY
Agriculture is the largest single source of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay and the waters that feed it, yet the agriculture industry has had an outsized influence over Maryland’s pollution policies. The Maryland Clean Agriculture Coalition includes more than 23 Maryland nonprofit organizations working to reduce pollution from agriculture. The Hatcher Group was selected to help form the new coalition, build its visibility, and establish it as a unified voice advocating for clean agriculture practices.
Messaging and Branding
To start, The Hatcher Group helped develop the coalition’s name, logo, mission, and branding. We also developed compelling messages for partners to help members talk about often complex and controversial issues with one voice. In addition, we created the coalition’s website and social media accounts and tools. In 2014, The Hatcher Group took over leadership of the coalition.
Over the years, we have conducted extensive media outreach, helping to change the tone of the conversation and statewide news coverage about pollution from agriculture, particularly on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. We wrote and published opinion pieces, created effective messaging and communications strategies, and developed materials such as fact sheets, infographics, one-pagers, and presentations for policymakers. We also managed dynamic, targeted social media campaigns.
Leading the coalition meant providing significant coordination as well as strategic and administrative support, which has resulted in a highly functional coalition that continues to grow in power and reach.
Hatcher’s communications expertise as well as coalition leadership has helped MCAC educate policymakers and enact several key policies to reduce pollution and increase transparency and accountability from agriculture. We were able to:
- Build a coalition of 23 nonprofit organizations to provide a counterweight to the agriculture lobby
- Increase policymaker and the public’s understanding of pollution from industrial agriculture — as well as solutions
- Support and enact significant policies to reduce agriculture pollution, including passing Phosphorus Management Tool regulations, improvements to nutrient management laws, updates to the industrial agriculture, and increase awareness of regenerative and sustainable agriculture practices