AFT statement on climate change and agriculture ahead of tonight’s CNN climate-focused town hall - American Farmland Trust

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AFT statement on climate change and agriculture ahead of tonight’s CNN climatefocused town hall 

This statement can be attributed to Dr. Jennifer Moore-Kucera, AFT Farmers Combat Climate Change director 

No debate about climate change is complete without addressing the role America’s farmers and ranchers must play if we are to leave a sustainable future to our children and future generations.  

With the CNN Town Hall on climate change featuring interviews with Democratic presidential candidates set for tonight at 5 p.m. EDT, I believe it is important to provide context for the conversation as it relates to both the challenges and opportunities related to helping farmers and ranchers combat climate change.   

AFT president and CEO, John Piotti, in his statement immediately following the Aug. 8 release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report Climate Change and Land, said — The good news is that agriculture and natural and working-land solutions in themselves offer the most promising possibility to save our society, (quoting the report) ‘cost effective, immediate and long term benefits.’ 

Cost effective, immediate, with many co-benefits  farmland that grows our food, but also retains water, mitigates floods and droughts, provides open space for recreation and habitat for wildlife.  

At AFT, we are focused on helping farmers and ranchers deliver on this promising possibility through our Farmers Combat Climate Change initiative, centered around three imperatives: 

  • Protect farmland and promote smart growth to significantly reduce emissions 
  • Improve soil health to help reverse climate change and improve resiliency  
  • Identify and promote the generation of clean, smart, efficient and renewable energy on farms  

Our work is important and making a real-world impact on our farms and ranches, but we need federal, state and local governments as well as private citizens to join our cause. We need more supportive farm policies with payment for ecoservices and eco-markets to help take full advantage of farmland’s ability to sequester carbon and optimize cobenefits.   

It may not seem obvious, but our food security could be in real trouble if we don’t act and act now in a holistic way, said best in AFT’s mission statement – saving the land that sustains us by protecting farmland, implementing environmentally sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land.  

I look forward to following tonight’s conversation and hope others will pay particular attention to what the candidates are saying about climate change in the context of farming and ranching. 

Read Dr. Moore-Kucera’s blog on how farmland draws down carbon and sinks it into the soil. 


American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families. 

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