In testimony on climate change Thursday, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall asserted farmers are already part of the solution, contributing now to climate smart practices.
Duvall spoke at a House Agriculture Committee hearing on climate change and the U.S. agriculture sector. He told lawmakers agriculture accounts for just ten percent of greenhouse gasses emitted in the United States, but agricultural productivity continues to grow.
“Over the last two generations, we’ve been able to increase productivity 287 percent without using any more resources. Agriculture’s achievements in sustainability have happened because farmers are adopting new technologies and participating in voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs.”
Duvall says U.S. farmers enthusiastically embrace new technologies, and more research will lead to more positive impact on the environment.
“They’ve done everything from methane digesters on livestock farms to planting practices that result in less disruption of the soil. We are currently looking for partners to build on the achievements that we’ve already made. We’re working with land grant universities, policymakers and other partners. At American Farm Bureau, we look forward to continuing to find solutions for the challenges of the future.”
Farm Bureau co-founded the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance to provide recommendations to lawmakers considering new climate policies, and the alliance has three main principals.
“That first principal is to support voluntary market incentive-based policies, the second is to achieve science-based outcomes, and then to promote the resilience of our rural communities and help their economies better adapt to changes that are coming with climate. We hope the work and the recommendations of the alliance will ensure that our farmers and ranchers will be respected and supported as society pushes for climate smart practices.”
Duvall says farmers are in a unique position to help.
“Farmers are the first conservationists,” he explained. “We know our land better than anyone else does and we want to leave our land in better condition than what we found it in. We’ve been entrusted with it, we care about it, and it’s part of our lives each and every day.”
Duvall added farmers want to protect the planet while feeding and clothing people in our world and promoting vibrant communities in rural America.
(AFBF President Zippy Duvall testifies before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in 2018. Photo Credit: AFBF)