Statement on USDA’s $3 Billion Investment and Announcement of New Climate Partnership
AFT applauds USDA for its announcement of a $3 billion investment to address a wide range of critical issues facing our nation. This funding will help farmers and ranchers respond to worsening droughts and water shortages, protect their livestock from disease, and provide relief from ongoing pandemic-related disruptions in agricultural markets. The funding will also help schools respond to supply chain disruptions that have been making it difficult to feed students since the start of the school year.
AFT is also highly supportive of USDA’s continued commitment to supporting farmers, ranchers, and foresters in being key partners in combatting climate change. There is mounting consumer interest in purchasing sustainably grown food. Building market visibility for products grown using practices that reduce total emissions and improve soil health is important to ensuring their widespread adoption. 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 260 million cars off the road annually. In order to mitigate climate change, we must ramp up this strategy as quickly as possible – and markets can help get us there.
Between the impacts of the pandemic and intensifying extreme weather events, we cannot wait to act. We thank the USDA for their leadership in moving forward these critical efforts to address pressing issues and to slow climate change. AFT looks forward to working with USDA, farmers, ranchers, and other partners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration in soils now and into the future.