Featured image: FACA photo credit: AFBF by Shantell Reyes
The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance released its policy recommendations for the 2023 farm bill last week, dividing those recommendations among six categories.
The announcement came on Feb. 23, noting, “The farm bill is essential legislation that impacts every family in America and has enormous potential to help the food, agriculture and forestry sectors achieve their climate mitigation potential while preserving and creating new economic opportunities.”
A release on the American Farm Bureau Federation site at https://www.fb.org/news-release/faca-releases-farm-bill-policy-recommendations-to-support-economic-opportunities-and-address-climate-change notes, “Further reducing emissions throughout agricultural and forestry supply chains will require a comprehensive effort involving financial and technical assistance, research investments, proactive response to innovation, public-private partnerships and a commitment to equitable opportunities for all producers.”
The Alliance’s recommendations, which were developed by the 23-member steering committee, are:
Conservation, risk management and credit
Livestock and dairy
Research, Extension and innovation
“FACA’s past recommendations have provided guidance to members of Congress and administration officials and have been credited with shaping federal laws and programs. We now urge both chambers of Congress and the president to act this year to pass a farm bill that advances voluntary bipartisan climate solutions,” the release said.
FACA’s founding organizations and co-chairs applauded the policy recommendations their impact. Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said, “Despite a pandemic, severe weather, volatile markets and rising costs, farmers continue to meet the growing needs of America’s families, and the farm bill helps make that possible. We look forward to working with Congress to strengthen Title I programs, improve risk management tools, and utilize these FACA recommendations to advance our sustainability mission in a manner that respects farmers and ranchers as partners.”
Also commenting was Rob Larew, President of National Farmers Union, who said, “Climate change continues to be a serious threat to farmers, ranchers and their communities. Farmers are already implementing practices to address the climate crisis and make their farms more resilient. The farm bill presents an opportunity to build upon the programs that support these voluntary, incentive-based practices. FACA’s farm bill recommendations will establish a strong foundation to support farmers and ranchers in sequestering carbon, building soil health and reducing emissions for years to come.”
Chuck Connor, President and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, added, “Throughout our work, FACA has been driven by the recognition that the farm bill is also a food bill, having importance beyond agriculture and impacting every family in America. Consumers are increasingly interested in both where their food comes from and the climate impact of what they eat. By helping America’s farmers, ranchers, and growers continue adoption of more climate-friendly farming practices, the recommendations will help producers meet growing consumer preferences. Also, by building on and strengthening efforts to combat food waste in the 2018 farm bill, the recommendations would ensure that the resources put towards growing and producing food are used as efficiently as possible.”
And Elizabeth Gore, Senior Vice President for Political Affairs at Environmental Defense Fund, concluded, “The farm bill is one of the biggest opportunities to advance conservation and climate solutions in the U.S. FACA’s recommendations will make it easier for farmers, ranchers and foresters to help stabilize the climate, while building resilience to climate impacts that are already affecting crops and livestock. In doing so, they can continue to produce food for a growing population and support vibrant agricultural and rural economies.”