U.S. family farmers and ranchers must be at the table with lawmakers as they look to enact policies that seek to address climate change. Agriculture has a key role to play in helping the United States adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. Land management practices can both capture carbon and help the nation adapt to the effects of increasingly severe extreme weather events. On farm energy production in the form of wind, solar, methane digestors, and biofuels feed stock will be crucial in the creation of a clean and domestically produced secure energy future for the United States.
With growing attention on this issue from both Republicans and Democrats, farmers and ranchers must work to promote policies and programs that work for agriculture. Done right, climate policy foragriculture can create economically sustainable family farms and ranches, and environmentally sustainable communities.
NFU Policy on Climate Change & Carbon Sequestration
NFU believes that human activity has the potential to mitigate climate change. We support a comprehensive federal approach that assists farmers and ranchers to implement soil health and emissions reductions practices on their operations and recognizes the carbon sink potential and public good of well-managed agricultural and forested lands. This approach must:
- build on the Farm Bill’s voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs;
- spur on-farm production of energy and expand the use and availability of biofuels;
- encourage markets that appropriately compensate farmers for the goods and environmental services they provide; and
- ensure a strong public investment in research to move farming systems forward.
At the crux of federal climate solution must be a carbon credit system to serve as a fair and equitable funding mechanism to ensure that farmers are appropriately compensated for the carbon sequestration and downstream resilience that healthy land management can provide. Lawmakers must recognize the crucial role agriculture plays and ensure appropriate USDA-based oversight of farmers and ranchers that recognizes the broad potential of the sector. True sustainability means leaving both the land and the farming operation better than it was.
NFU’s full policy on Climate Change and Carbon Sequestration can be found here.
Read Family Farming and Climate Change: 2020 NFU Special Order of Business here.
Contact your lawmakers!
Let your lawmaker know how climate change is affecting your farm, ranch, or rural community, and what resources farmers and ranchers will need lead in creating more environmentally and economically sustainable and resilient agricultural operations. You can find the contact information for your U.S. Senator here, and your U.S. Representative here.
A one-page overview of NFU’s climate policy and potential solutions is here.