Clements: Farmers and ranchers have a good story to tell regarding sustainability and climate friendly practices. Andrew Walmsley, American Farm Bureau Federation Congressional Relations Director, says agriculture is part of the foundation of sustainability.
Walmsley: Sustainability’s huge for farmers and ranchers. With the debate around climate change, we’ve got a pretty good story to tell on what has been achieved in a voluntary, incentive-based fashion. We’re producing 270 percent more with the same amount of inputs over the last 50 years, and that’s all tied to innovation in agriculture.
Clements: Walmsley says there are many ways farmers and ranchers implement sustainable practices.
Walmsley: Innovative techniques in agriculture helps build upon that platform of sustainability. And, it’s not just on farm practices, we can sequester carbon in the soil, we can adopt practices like cover crops, but we’ve also been big proponents of renewable energy, whether that’s biofuels, on-farm solar and wind, digesters, those types of technologies, agriculture is always looking for a solution.
Clements: Walmsley says it’s important farmers be part of the sustainability conversation.
Walmsley: There’s certain things that we can definitely support, there’s certain things that we can build upon that we are already doing. But, there’s also things that can harm agriculture when it comes to public policy. So, it’s important for farmers to be engaged, in making sure that folks are inviting farmers and ranchers to the table to talk about our good work and what we can do going forward.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.