Conservation Can Be A Boon For Farmers

A Texas rancher says the last decade was defined by change and a lot of learning.

Gary Price was in Washington Tuesday to discuss how operators like him can profit from conservation. A recent study by IHS market shows private companies, including the likes of Chevy and McDonalds, are looking to support farmers financially by purchasing ecosystem credits to offset their corporate carbon footprint.

Ecosystem markets, where producers can sell credits for practices like cover cropping or creating riparian areas are already being set up, and experts say they could be a boon for farmers looking to diversify revenue streams. Price says he’s already seen his conservation regiment pay off for his operation, by helping his cow-calf herd weather both floods and droughts. But creating national ecosystem markets won’t be easy, according to IHS Market VP, Joe Somers, and farmers should be prepared for a long term commitment.

Price recognizes that for many of his neighbors, tradition and pride will stand in the way of adopting conservation practices or participating in ecosystem markets. But he says he’ll keep sharing how his practices benefit the land and being able to communicate how it can benefit others will continue to help his operation grow.

Report By: Sarah Mock