Climate-Smart Commodities Started as a Solution from the Land
By Chris Clayton, DTN/Progressive Farmer
This past week's announcement of $2.8 billion in grants for climate-smart agriculture from USDA reflected some of the long-term vision and persistence of guys like Ernie Shea, A.G. Kawamura and Fred Yoder, and other key farm leaders at Solutions from the Land.
Since at least 2009, leaders at Solutions from the Land have been coming back from these United Nations "COP" meetings talking about climate-smart agriculture. They were talking about U.S. agriculture taking a lead on climate change and land management long before it was cool.
SfL put out a report highlighting the "a new and compelling vision for adaptive, resilient land management to meet the multiple goals of the 21st century -- global food and energy security, economic development, biodiversity and climate change," their report stated, laying out the recognition that farmers will be faced with finding tools that will enable them to do more with less.
At a core part of their focus, "Farmers, ranchers, foresters and other land managers will be supported and compensated for their stewardship of ecosystems and a broader suite of ecosystem services the land provides, such as clean water and air, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration” …
… Not everybody had a similar take on USDA's partnership this week. The environmental group Friends of the Earth, for instance, attacked the projects because of the ties to major corporations across the agricultural supply chain.
"The Biden Administration is right to focus on mitigating climate change, and many of the projects announced today seem worthy of support," said Jason Davison, senior food and ag campaigner for Friends of the Earth. "Unfortunately, several of them will funnel tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to some of the most egregious climate offenders -- Big Ag corporations like JBS, Cargill, and ADM."