Statement on USDA’s $1 Billion Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Program
AFT applauds USDA for its announcement of a new $1 billion Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program. This funding will help farmers and ranchers address climate change by supporting the implementation of climate-smart practices while also helping to build stronger markets for commodities produced using these practices.
AFT is supportive of USDA’s continued commitment to partnering with farmers, ranchers, and foresters in sequestering carbon, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and adapting to extreme weather events. In addition to producing food, feed, fiber, and fuel, farmers and ranchers are some of the nation’s most important land stewards. With climate change increasingly impacting their productivity and bottom lines, we cannot afford to delay. At the same time, there is mounting consumer interest in purchasing sustainably grown food, both at home and abroad. Building market visibility for products grown using these practices is a win-win for farm viability and the environment. AFT research has shown that increasing the implementation of just two climate-smart practices—cover crops and no-till—could have equivalent climate benefits to taking 21 million cars off the road annually.
We commend USDA for their leadership and look forward to working with the Department and Congress, as well as farmers, ranchers, and other partners, to advance strategies like these that increase farm profitability, enhance soil health, and improve environmental outcomes.