Supporting conservation on the farm benefits the economy
Environmental entrepreneurs team up with farmers to release a new report highlighting how the Biden administration can create a climate policy that supports agriculture.
The “Healthy Soil and Climate Connection Report” focuses on regenerative agriculture as a key answer to climate policy. Nicole Lederer, chair and co-founder of E2, says that supporting conservation on the farm benefits the economy.
According to Lederer, “This is a way to stabilize the farm economy to make it possible for a revenue stream for farmers that is not weather dependent, or tariff dependent, that recognizes a service that benefits the entire economy and should be monetized and rewarded.”
The report calls on policymakers to expand existing Farm Bill programs, like the Soil Health Demonstration pilot program, that supports regenerative agriculture.
“Most importantly, what we want to see happen with the Soil Health Demonstration trial is that it should become a permanent program, as opposed to a trial, and it should be amplified in terms of the degree to which it is deployed across the country and of course the degree to which it is funded,” Lederer states.
Another policy recommendation is to redesign federal crop insurance to offer a premium break for farmers who implement conservation practices.
Retired Lt. General John Castellaw, now the CEO of Farmspace, says that farmers need tools that can accurately measure carbon capture.
“The technology is going to have to be demonstrated and proven, and we are in the process of doing that,” Castellaw states. “We’ve got a lot of support that’s going on there, so you put these factors together and you’re going to have the capability of labor, you’re going to have the technology that’s existing, and you’re going to have a culture change when you put some money with adopting these regenerative processes that are going to encourage farmers to adopt.”
He says that better data management improves productivity on the farm, which in turn supports national security.
“Climate change has an impact on our national security and one of the ways we can reduce that impact is with regenerative agriculture and making our American farmer and rancher the leader in this area,” he adds.
The group also sees regenerative ag and climate policy as a way to bridge the historical divide between environmental activists and American farmers and ranchers.
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