The future of agriculture relies on innovative technology and sustainable practices

The accomplishments of farmers leading up to today promise better days through better ways. Loosely quoting E.M. Tiffany, who wrote the FFA creed, “The things we now enjoy, are a result of the struggles of former years and how the American farmer overcame those challenges.”

As part to today’s commitment to conservation, this is how leaders in Washington intend to serve the interests of the ag industry.

The future of agriculture hinges on sustainability for the next generation. House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson shares some insight on the battle against climate change.

“We don’t even know what it is that will fix this. We got some ideas. We have some true believers that believe this or believe that, which may or may not be true,” Peterson states. “I think our approach on the Ag Committee has been better, where its voluntary and we have incentives for people to try out things and see if it moves us in the right direction and is actually going to work. Agriculture is not profitable right now; we can’t put more cost on agriculture. I’m not going to support that.”

USDA’s innovation agenda is an effort to embrace technology. Under Secretary Ted McKinney says that innovation is currently feeding the world: “Fall army worm is ravaging a great deal of Africa, just as it is a great deal of China. It is one nasty booger. I want you to know, we also had it in my part of Indiana. The difference is we had the tools to whip it, and in two years, it was the biotechnology traits that helped get rid of the nastiest of fall army worm. To this day, our farm uses zero insecticides when we’re applying and planting corn.”

McKinney says that thanks to GPS technology fungicide, herbicide, and fertilizer use are also down. Efforts like genetic modification paved the way for this to happen. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says that not everyone has caught on.

“In some countries rapid misinformation and fear mongering has infiltrated their societies, and the public in those countries don’t believe in our farming practices yield safe food,” the Secretary notes. “We see evidence of this mindset through such things as EU’s ‘farm-to-forks strategy.’ While we commend the EU’s commitment to sustainability, we recognize that we need to work together to sustainably feed a population of nearly 10 billion people by 2050.”

In order to work towards that goal, congressional members introduced the Growing Climate Solutions Act. It is an effort to create a market for carbon.

The bill would designate USDA as a one stop shop for measuring carbon sequestration.