The Growing Climate Solutions Act has passed through the U.S. Senate with support from multiple agricultural organizations. Introduced by Senators Debbie Stabenow and Mike Braun, the bill was passed by a vote of 92 to eight. The legislation is designed to assist farmers and ranchers address greenhouse gas emission levels through voluntary programs. A certification program to solve technical entry barriers would be developed under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“We appreciate lawmakers putting aside their differences to work on bipartisan solutions to the challenges facing farmers and ranchers,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a press release. “The Growing Climate Solutions Act acknowledges the potential of climate-smart farming while ensuring farmers would be respected as partners who can build on our strong foundation of environmental stewardship.”
The legislation calls for the development of an Advisory Council that can help guide USDA, ensuring the efficacy of the carbon program. The bill also establishes an online resource for farmers and ranchers interested in carbon market information. A lack of reliable and credible information has kept some producers from adopting practices that can assist with the development of carbon credits.
“Through its voluntary structure and focus on supporting farmers, The Growing Climate Solutions Act enables all agricultural producers to further embrace climate smart practices with new educational resources and economic certainty,” said National Association of State Departments of Agriculture CEO Dr. Barb Glenn. “State departments of agriculture ardently work to ensure the prosperity of agriculture and welcome the opportunity to assist farmers seeking to enter the carbon market.”
The Growing Climate Solutions Act is being supported by more than 175 agriculture, forestry, and conservation groups. Some of the supporters include the National Milk Producers Foundation, Agricultural Retailers Association, National Cotton Council, National Farmers Union, and Farm Credit Council.