At times, agriculture may receive a bad wrap because it is calculated at being responsible for the release of an estimated 8 to 9 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. But agriculture can also be seen as part of the solution by sinking carbon back into the soil.
Maine farmer and U.S. Congressional Representative, Chellie Pingree (D-ME) recognizes the connection and introduced the Agriculture Resilience Act to address the most pressing farm issue of our day: climate change.
The bill establishes a set of aggressive but realistic goals for farmers to help mitigate climate change and increase agricultural resilience, starting with the overarching goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. agriculture by no later than 2040. The legislation’s programmatic sections are divided into six additional titles – agricultural research, soil health, farmland preservation and viability, pasture-based livestock, on-farm renewable energy, and food waste. In a recent blog post, the National Sustainable Agriculture team provided a summary of each title of the bill and upcoming next steps for the legislation this year.
The Illinois Stewardship Alliance applauds Rep. Pingree for crafting and introducing this bold Act. As a farmer herself, Rep. Pingree recognizes the need for enhanced funding to programs that farmers are already using. As climate change pressures challenge agriculture across the country, this Act recognizes that farmers will need more support to ensure that they are resilient against pressures like drought, flooding, and erosion.