By Jenny Hopkinson, NFU Senior Government Relations Representative

The Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis is seeking input on how the federal government can best assist and support farmers, ranchers, and rural communities as they respond to and mitigate the effects of climate change.

The committee is asking for details on changes needed to existing programs that would better facilitate their use in addressing climate changes, as well as new programs, tools and opportunities that could be helpful to farmers and ranchers as they look to adapt their land to extreme weather events and work to reduce emissions and sequester carbon.

The request for information, which is led by Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, comes amid growing interest by Congress about agriculture’s role in climate policy, though most of the action thus far has been in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. The Senate special committee is tasked with laying the groundwork for climate policy action should the opportunity arise after the 2020 election.

“The goal is to lay down the factual basis for taking action, so that if we are in charge in 2021, we don’t have to go through 18 months of investigatory hearings,” Sen. Brian Shatz of Hawaii, who chairs the committee, told The Atlantic last year.

How can you help?

Family farmers and ranchers must work with lawmakers to ensure that and climate policies reflect the particular needs of agriculture. This is one opportunity to do just that.

As such, NFU will be submitting comments that build on our policy and priorities, and would like to include some of our members’ thoughts on the questions and issues raised by the committee, which can be found here. Please send your feedback to the committee’s questions to [email protected].

You can also submit your own comments to [email protected].

The committee has asked for feedback by June 19, 2020.


For more information on policy efforts related to climate change and agriculture, check out NFU’s new climate and agriculture policy resource center here.

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