Rep. Underwood introduced new bi-partisan legislation to support farmers at the frontlines of the climate crisis

Illinois Stewardship Alliance is excited to see Representative Underwood and Representative Gallagher team up to introduce the Farmers Fighting Climate Change Act!

For many Alliance farmer members, climate change has become one of the leading challenges faced on the farm today. With an increase in flooding events, extreme temperature changes, a host of new insects and a gradual shift in seasonality, new obstacles arise on a daily basis that will change the way Illinois farmers run their business. 

As farmers learn how to mitigate these obstacles, they are, in many ways, positioned to be leaders in tackling the climate crisis through new farm practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration.

It is imperative that federal legislation is brought up to par with these rapid changes, which is why the Alliance is proud to endorse the Farmers Fighting Climate Change Act introduced by Representative Lauren Underwood (D-14) last week.

The Farmers Fighting Climate Change Act directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to establish region-specific climate change mitigation bundles within Conservation Stewardship Program to support and promote agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration. This will help producers expand their climate stewardship practices and empower more farmers to be leaders of America’s response to climate change.  

Christine Johnson, farmer at Wild Trillium Farm in Richmond, Co-Chair of the Alliances Local Food Farmers Caucus, and member of Rep. Underwood’s Ag Advisory Committee shared why she supports the bill at a press conference announcing the legislation on Monday, April 12th. 

“As a farmer, I value, respect and care deeply for the land that I am allowed to farm upon. Fighting climate change while sustaining that same opportunity for future farmers and generations is a job I am grateful to show up to everyday,” Johnson said. “Strengthening the untangleable relationships between farming, our environment, and our community are all part of Illinois Stewardship Alliance’s mission.”

Read the full story and more about the bill here.