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Climate mitigation ‘designed by farmers for farmers’

Farmers and ranchers will have a voice in writing the Biden administration’s plan for alleviating climate change, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday — “a system that is designed by farmers for farmers.” A spokesperson said the USDA will reach out to the agricultural sector “in the coming weeks” for ideas.

“I think agriculture is poised to be a leader in this effort,” Vilsack told the National Farmers Union convention. “And to do that we need to create financial incentives and markets that are not designed and structured for an investment class, but are designed and constructed and implemented for farmers.”

Producers could see three new revenue streams from climate mitigation, he said. They were income from carbon markets, from conversion of agricultural waste into products ranging from chemicals to fabrics, and capture of methane from manure for use as a renewable fuel. “So USDA needs to be engaged and involved in providing the resources to make that those new markets possible so that as we develop and construct new farm bills in the future,” said Vilsack.

Produced with FERN, non-profit reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.
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