Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

Farmers Hold Unique Position to Fight Climate Change

News / Newsline February 25, 2021

Credit: AFBF 

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall Thursday told lawmakers farmers are part of the solution to climate change. Micheal Clements shares how farmers are already contributing to climate smart practices and how they can help in the future.

Clements: Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall gave testimony to the House Agriculture Committee Thursday during a hearing on climate change and the U.S. agriculture sector. Duvall told lawmakers farmers and ranchers are already making an impact, as agriculture accounts for just ten percent of greenhouse gasses emitted in the United States, as agricultural productivity grows.

Duvall: Over the last two generations, we’ve been able to increase productivity 287 percent without using any more resources. Agriculture’s achievements in sustainability have happened because farmers are adopting new technologies and participating in voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs.

Clements: Duvall says U.S. farmers and ranchers enthusiastically embrace new technologies, and more research will further improve their impact on the environment.

Duvall: They’ve done everything from methane digesters on livestock farms to planting practices that result in less disruption of the soil. We are currently looking for partners to build on the achievements that we’ve already made. We’re working with land grant universities, policymakers and other partners. At American Farm Bureau, we look forward to continuing to find solutions for the challenges of the future.

Clements: AFBF co-founded the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance to provide recommendations to lawmakers considering new climate policies. The coalition is guided by three main principals.

Duvall: That first principal is to support voluntary market incentive-based policies, the second is to achieve science-based outcomes, and then to promote the resilience of our rural communities and help their economies better adapt to changes that are coming with climate. We hope the work and the recommendations of the alliance will ensure that our farmers and ranchers will be respected and supported as society pushes for climate smart practices.

Clements: Duvall adds farmers and ranchers are in a unique position to help.

Duvall: Farmers are the first conservationist, we know our land better than anyone else does and we want to leave our land in better condition than what we found it in. We’ve been entrusted with it, we care about it, and its part of our lives each and every day. We want to protect the planet while we feed and clothe people in our world and we also want to promote vibrate communities in rural America.

Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.

Read AFBF President Zippy Duvall's written testimony here

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