In February, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue unveiled USDA‘s efforts to incentivize and encourage sustainable farming practices through its, Agriculture Innovation Agenda. It’s an agenda with a solution for farmers, consumers, and the environment.
In a statement, Perdue noted, “This agenda is a strategic, department-wide effort to better align USDA’s resources, programs, and research to provide farmers with the tools they need to be successful. We are also continually mindful of the need for America’s agriculture industry to be environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable to maintain our position as a leader in the global effort to meet demand. We are committed as ever to the environmental sustainability and continued success, of America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers.”
But what will happen if farm policy mimics that same approach? Would farmers be enthusiastic about it? During a press conference at the 2020 Commodity Classic, Secretary Perdue was asked if he could see a day when farm policy would encourage and reward sustainable practices? Perdue responded with, “you get what you reward, regardless if you’re talking about tax policy or fam bill practices.” He went on to say farmers farm for the market and if there happen to be economic incentives to sequester carbon, farmers would participate. Perdue reiterated that USDA currently encourages farmers to practice sustainable farming without waiting on economic incentives.
Listen to Perdue’s comments in the full report below.