Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

Farmers and Ranchers to Engage in Global Climate Conversation

News / Newsline September 21, 2021

Credit: Preston Keres, USDA/FPAC / CC0 

The UN Food Systems Summit will hear first-hand from an American farmer about U.S. advances in climate-smart agriculture. Micheal Clements shares more on how American agriculture fits in the global climate discussion.

Clements: The UN Food Systems Summit this week will include farmers and ranchers representing U.S. agriculture. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall explains the importance of having U.S. farmers at the table.

Duvall: UN policies haven’t always recognized U.S. agriculture as a leader in this area. And, for the first time, farmers and ranchers have been asked to be part of this discussion, they're going to be at the table, and we should be engaged to help influence the UN and their opinion on American agriculture. I'm pleased at the work USFRA has done to get our farmers at the conference, and I also am pleased that we're going to have a U.S. farmer speaking there, and several other farmers attending.

Clements: Duvall says U.S. farmers and ranchers have a fantastic sustainability story to share.

Duvall: American farmers are setting the table for healthy plate, and a healthy planet, contributing just ten percent of overall greenhouse gas emissions. That's far less than other sectors in our country, and it's also far less than agriculture and many other countries. Our farmers have voluntarily enrolled over 140 million acres in conservation programs, that equals the landmass of California and New York State combined. We also, in 2018, the use of ethanol and biofuels led to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions equal to taking 17 million cars off the road.

Clements: The UN Food Systems Summit takes place during Climate Week 2021, but Duvall adds farmers and ranchers can share their story year-round.

Duvall: Our research has shown that farming is among the most trusted professions when it comes to climate and environment. It's good to be proud of the work that we're doing on our farms to leave it in better environmental shape than what we found it. Talking about what we have done and why we have done it is important. Social media is a great tool, but it never replaces an in-person, on-farm visit. And it always helps when we ask local news stations or school children, or just local people to come in and visit our farms.

Clements: Learn more at Micheal Clements, Washington.

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