Ag Groups Cheer Climate Smart Measures Included in 2023 Omnibus

Tue, 20 Dec 2022 18:26:28 CST

Ag Groups Cheer Climate Smart Measures Included in 2023 Omnibus

Several Ag Groups have reacted favorably to the inclusion of the Growing Climate Solutions Act and the SUSTAINS Act within the 2023 Omnibus Bill.

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall commented today on the unveiling of the 2023 omnibus bill, which contains several pieces of legislation that will help farmers and ranchers meet sustainability goals.

“AFBF commends lawmakers for including several important pieces of legislation in the 2023 omnibus bill to support the role farmers and ranchers play in sustainability and recognize the hardships caused by natural disasters.

“The revised versions of the Growing Climate Solutions Act and the SUSTAINS Act will help farmers work with USDA on climate-smart practices for voluntary, market-driven programs. Additionally, reauthorizing the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act will ensure a framework remains in place allowing farmers to continue growing healthy crops while using fewer natural resources.

“Much needed disaster relief is also included and will provide important aid to farmers whose crops and livestock have been devastated by severe weather including drought, wildfires and hurricanes.

“Farm Bureau stands ready to continue working with both parties on the many other critical issues facing farm and ranch families.”

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) today commended Congress for including the Growing Climate Solutions Act and the SUSTAINS Act in its final fiscal year 2023 budget package. These measures will help dairy farmers seek additional sustainability opportunities as they work to fulfill the dairy sector’s voluntary, producer-led goal of becoming greenhouse gas neutral or better by 2050.

“Environmental markets and conservation programs have the potential to meaningfully assist dairy producers as they work to meet their 2050 environmental stewardship goals,” said NMPF president and CEO Jim Mulhern. “The Growing Climate Solutions Act and the SUSTAINS Act will strengthen these important tools.”

The Growing Climate Solutions Act, authored by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, and Senator Mike Braun, R-IN, passed the Senate last June on a bipartisan vote of 92-8. The legislation would enable USDA to register technical service providers that help farmers implement stewardship practices that can generate credits on environmental markets. In turn, producers will be better positioned to participate in these important markets. Reps. Abigail Spanberger, D-VA, and Don Bacon, R-NE, have introduced companion legislation in the House.

The SUSTAINS Act, authored by House Agriculture Committee Chairman-elect Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-PA, passed the House Agriculture Committee in May on a bipartisan voice vote. The measure would allow private sector funds to supplement existing funding for farm bill conservation programs, which are continuously oversubscribed. The bill is an innovative approach to boosting funding for USDA conservation programs, which provide important technical assistance to dairy farmers for a variety of stewardship practices.

In addition to the sponsors of both bills, committee leaders Rep. David Scott, D-GA, and Sen. John Boozman, R-AR, also played important roles in finalizing the bipartisan package.

“We commend the leaders of the Agriculture Committees – Senators Debbie Stabenow and John Boozman and Reps. David Scott and GT Thompson – for working together to fashion this bipartisan agreement on agricultural climate legislation,” Mulhern said. “We look forward to working with them and their colleagues to build on this progress in the new year.”

A Statement from Chuck Connor of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

”I applaud the inclusion of both the Growing Climate Solutions Act and the SUSTAINS Act in the omnibus appropriations bill under consideration by Congress. I would especially like to recognize the leadership of the chief sponsors of each bill—Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Representative Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.)-in getting these bills included in this end-of-year package. This action affirms Congress’s support for programs and projects to promote climate-smart agricultural practices that are voluntary, science-based, and incentive-focused.”


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