WASHINGTON — Rural Investment to Protect our Environment (RIPE), a farmer-led nonprofit advancing a groundbreaking, bipartisan climate policy plan, is proud to announce that it recently added two highly respected Farmers Unions to its steering committee: Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) and North Dakota Farmers Union (NDFU).
Representing MFU is Eunice Biel, former chair of its executive committee. Meanwhile, NDFU is represented by Matt Perdue, government relations director.
“We are honored to have these organizations join the RIPE steering committee,” said RIPE Executive Director Aliza Wasserman-Drewes. “American farmers have a pivotal role to play in tackling climate change, but they shouldn’t sacrifice their own livelihood in the process, and we are excited to work with MFU and NDFU to shape the RIPE100 plan to best serve their members.”
Through $100 per acre payments, the RIPE100 plan would reward farmers for the total public value of their conservation practices, including no-till, cover crops and more. In addition to carbon sequestration, the voluntary federal program would pay for improved soil health, cleaner water, biodiversity and other environmental services. Payments would also help farmers manage rising input costs — such as fertilizer — due to climate policy, while giving them a reasonable return.
RIPE’s steering committee advises on farmer engagement, contributes to policy design and makes recommendations on other opportunities that support the organization’s mission. Other steering committee member organizations include Arkansas Rice Federation, Iowa Corn Growers Association, National Black Farmers Association and North Dakota Grain Growers Association.
“Farmers have an important role to play in reducing the impacts of climate change,” said MFU President Gary Wertish. “From implementing carbon practices to using fuel made from corn, soybeans and other renewable products, farmers are leading the way to a healthier planet. We are proud to have Eunice represent us on the RIPE steering committee. She is an excellent leader who has worked hard to advance farmer interests in Minnesota.”
Minnesota Farmers Union works to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers and ranchers and rural communities.
Meanwhile, NDFU is the largest general farm organization in North Dakota. It is a grassroots organization committed to the advancement of family farm and ranch agriculture and quality of life for people everywhere through member advocacy, educational programs, cooperative initiatives, and insurance services.
“Family farmers and ranchers are an important part of the solution to climate change,” said NDFU President Mark Watne. “NDFU firmly believes that producers should be fairly compensated for the practices they adopt to sequester carbon, enhance water quality, improve wildlife habitat and more. We look forward to working with RIPE to ensure farmers and ranchers are rewarded for their stewardship.”
— Rural Investment to Protect our Environment