We represent U.S. farmers and ranchers who are committed to producing the world’s food, feed and fiber supply in a sustainable way. Farmers and ranchers play a leading role in promoting soil health, conserving water, enhancing wildlife, efficiently using nutrients and caring for their animals. For decades they have pushed past the boundaries of innovation by investing in agricultural research and adopting practices with the goals of improving productivity, providing clean and renewable energy, and enhancing sustainability.
Livestock and crop production are the heart of American agriculture, providing the food we enjoy every day. Ensuring this production continues sustainably is essential for people and the planet. Farmers have embraced technologies that reduced emissions and increased efficiency. Building upon the strong foundation of voluntary stewardship investments and practices, including those in the Farm Bill, we look forward to working with policy makers to further advance the successful sustainable practices used by U.S. agricultural producers. Throughout this process, lawmakers must ensure that any governmental analysis characterizing U.S. crop and livestock systems reflects U.S. agriculture’s leadership globally in sustainable farming practices.
The examination of existing state and federal programs to identify efficiencies, reduce regulatory obstacles, and improve program delivery.
Voluntary, incentive-based programs that enhance farmers’ and ranchers’ profitability and production methods, which have already allowed agriculture to achieve significant sustainability gains.
Initiatives to maintain and improve infrastructure capacity to support farm and ranch operations, rural communities, and related agricultural businesses.
The development of new technologies and practices to help farmers and ranchers achieve greater efficiencies and enhance sustainability.
Focusing on Outcomes
Market-based solutions, led by farmers and ranchers, that improve rural communities while recognizing the diversity of agricultural practices, climates, challenges, and resources needs.
Farmers for a Sustainable Future is motivated to ensure that farm families maintain their ability to respond and adapt to climatic events and that public policies do not threaten the long-term resiliency of our rural communities.
We Must Ensure That Farm Families Maintain Their Ability to Respond and Adapt to Climatic Events
Congress must protect American agriculture and production practices from undue burden, and respect farmers’ and ranchers’ ability to innovate and solve problems.
American farm families want to leave the land better than when it was first entrusted to our care. We want to protect the planet, feed and clothe people, and promote vibrant communities. Working with our partners, land-grant universities, and policy makers, Farmers for a Sustainable Future and the hundreds of thousands of farmers and ranchers we represent intends to continue finding solutions for the challenges of the future.
Agriculture’s Sustainability Story
American Farmers and Ranchers Today Do More With Fewer Acres
All told, agriculture accounts for less than 10% of total U.S. emissions, far less than transportation, electricity generation and industry sectors. Farmers continue to produce more with greater efficiency. In fact, U.S. agriculture would have needed nearly 100 million more acres in 1990 to match 2018 production levels. AFBF’s Market Intel provides a full report on the 2018 GHG data from EPA.
Farmers Are Providing More Clean & Renewable Energy
U.S. farmers and ranchers are adopting and investing in renewable and clean energy sources. In the last five years, farmers and ranchers have put in 132% more renewable energy sources including geothermal, solar panels, windmills, hydro systems and methane digesters. More than 130,000 operations employ renewable energy sources.
The use of ethanol and biodiesel in 2018 reduced GHG emissions by 71 MMT– equivalent to 17 million cars off the road.
15% of All Farmland Is Used for Conservation & Wildlife Habitat
The total acres U.S. farmers have enrolled in certain USDA conservation programs is equal to the total land area of California & New York. This does not include millions of acres in voluntary or state-led conservation practices.
Sustainable Soil Use & Resource Conservation Efforts Increased by 34 Million Acres
U.S. farmers are proactively managing and preserving their soil by planting more cover crops, using more conservation tillage, and using more no-till methods. These practices help to conserve soil, preserve and increase nutrients, and improve water quality. These practices trap excess carbon in the soil and reduce GHG emissions.
Ag Innovation Leads to Better & Lower GHG Footprint for Livestock and Crops
American Sugar Alliance
U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
Southern Peanut Farmers
Peanut Sustainability 101
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Association of Wheat Growers
Conservation and Sustainability
National Farmers Union
Climate Change Policy Brief
National Corn Growers
Soil Health Partnership
US Cotton Trust Protocol
Trust US Cotton