A coalition of a dozen agricultural and conservation groups are encouraging lawmakers to broaden support for climate-smart agriculture. Last week a letter was sent by the coalition to the leadership of both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. The coalition includes the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), American Seed Trade Association, National Farmers Union, Agricultural Retailers Association, and National Association of Conservation Districts. The group highlighted the value that increased investment in climate-smart agricultural practices can provide.
“We strongly encourage you to ensure that these investments be focused on working lands managed by the producers who work to sustainably provide our country with a safe, affordable, and abundant food supply,” the letter reads. “Our organizations look forward to continuing to work with you on infrastructure legislation. We are enthusiastic for the unique opportunity to help farmers and ranchers augment their ongoing environmental stewardship and sustainability efforts.”
Other signatories of the letter include the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC), CropLife America, Produce Marketing Association, and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. The group urged lawmakers to consider the multitude of benefits achieved through various conservation programs as they consider infrastructure legislation. Climate-smart agriculture practices have already helped to improve water quality, wildlife habitat, and sequester carbon. The coalition notes that increased funding for technical and financial assistance incentives can further the reach of current conservation initiatives. Increased funding can also help support more partnerships between conservation groups and farmers to expand the impact of climate-smart programs.
“America’s farmer co-ops and their producer-owners stand ready to help address the global challenge posed by climate change,” President and CEO of NCFC, Chuck Conner said in a press release. “Increasing conservation funding for climate-friendly farming practices is essential to giving them the tools they need to do that and to continue their stewardship of our shared natural resources.”