NASDA, Alliance comment on role farmers play in climate mitigation

Sustainable Food Policy Alliance and NASDA submit comments to House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

Jacqui Fatka, Policy editor

November 22, 2019

2 Min Read
NASDA, Alliance comment on role farmers play in climate mitigation

The Sustainable Food Policy Alliance (SFPA) and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) offered comments in response to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis’s request for recommendations on policies, strategies and innovations necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, maximize carbon storage and enhance the climate resilience of farmers and ranchers.

Earlier this year, SFPA member companies Danone North America, Mars Incorporated, Nestlé USA and Unilever United States released a set of climate policy principles and urged the U.S. government to adopt policies that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the economy, in addition to the efforts underway by SFPA’s individual member companies to implement solutions to reduce their overall environmental footprints. Likewise, NASDA members recently adopted a climate resiliency policy that acknowledges the necessity of adapting to a changing climate to protect and enhance our nation’s natural resources, while also building a resilient agricultural and food supply chain.

Recommendations from the organizations include prioritizing voluntary, incentive-based efforts that help farmers and ranchers build resiliency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and sequester carbon. Enhancing voluntary, incentive-based programs will likely require additional resources for research, technical assistance, and development of financing models, the comments noted. Given the environmental benefits – including reduced emissions, carbon sequestration, and many others – dedicating such resources would be a wise investment.

Related:Scientific truths should drive climate change discussion

The comments also offered support for incentive structures that encourage and scale up environmentally-friendly practices; existing examples of these structures include the Regional Conservation Partnership Program and the soil health provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill. “Congress should support and incentivize a systems approach to soil health management, including supporting the expansion of the wide array of tools needed to incentivize and measure soil health improvements. Soil carbon levels can vary widely across landscapes, regions and time periods,” the comments noted.

The comments also encouraged developing additional research and forecasting tools that can help farmers and ranchers adapt to a changing climate.

“SFPA and NASDA encourage Congress to develop policy and other mechanisms that better identify and address gaps in existing research; support the development of a coordinated research strategy across the federal government; and encourage the development of new or expanded public-private research partnerships,” the comments noted.

Related:Climate change focus heightens


About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

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