SEBASTOPOL, Calif. — This week, members of Congress received a letter signed by more than 450 agricultural and rural development organizations and businesses calling for at least $200 billion in investments over the next decade in a resilient agriculture sector. More than 70 California-based food and farm organizations joined in the call for greater resources for farmers and ranchers to address the climate crisis.
The letter, submitted by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), called for the inclusion of funding in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan for soil health improvements and other on-farm climate solutions, rural renewable energy, forestry, and regional food supply infrastructure.
“We know from our experience in California that once you make resources available for farmers to address a changing climate, demand will be high, said Jeanne Merrill, Policy Director of the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN), a member of NSAC. “Nationally, we need a focus on climate change and agriculture issues so our farms can remain viable and agriculture can be part of the solution to the climate crisis.”
The 450 organizations and businesses urge Congress to include in the American Jobs Plan Act legislation key funding provisions from two bicameral bills introduced this year: the Agriculture Resilience Act (H.R. 2803/S. 1337) and the Climate Stewardship Act (H.R 2534/S. 1072). These bills propose strategies for helping farmers and ranchers adopt practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become carbon sinks, investing in local and regional food processing and distribution facilities, expanding renewable energy on farms, advancing research on climate and agriculture, and much more.
“Investing in farming and utilizing sustainable farming methods to address climate change helps revitalize rural communities and ensures a resilient food system,” said Albert Straus, organic dairy farmer and founder/CEO, Straus Family Creamery and a signatory on the letter.
“We know that the time for transformative investments to help farmers address the climate crisis is now,” said Eric Deeble, NSAC Policy Director. “This funding request for $200 billion is a down payment on programs that farmers need now to build more resilient food systems.”
–California Climate and Agriculture Network
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