May 12, 2023
In this series, we are taking a deeper dive into each priority and how you can support. This week, we are taking a look at climate-smart agriculture. Together, we'll take a look at what climate-smart agriculture is, how it will benefit the future of agriculture and how we're advocating for it in the upcoming Farm Bill.
Every five years, Congress drafts a new federal Farm Bill, which determines how billions of dollars are spent in our communities. The Farm Bill shapes what’s grown on the land and who grows it, conservation and climate, the safety of our food system, and the economic health of rural businesses and communities. This year we’ve outlined our four top priorities to advocate for inclusion in the Farm Bill. These priorities are: 1) farmland protection and access, 2) local and regional food systems development, 3) climate-smart agriculture, and 4) a federal safety net for PFAS-impacted farms.
Farmers need resources like funding, research, and risk management assistance to implement climate-friendly farming practices. Climate-smart farming practices can trap carbon in the soil, while improving the health of the soil, improving water quality, supporting wildlife habitat, and increasing farm profitability. The next Farm Bill must address climate change.
How we will support change:
We are advocating for federal investments in climate-friendly agriculture and support a Farm Bill that builds climate resilience by increasing conservation program funding, access to those funds by farmers, and efficiency of program delivery to meet growing demand. We strongly support the Agriculture Resilience Act which has been championed by Maine Representative Chellie Pingree.
We specifically would like to see the following responses within federal programs:
How can you get involved?
The Agriculture Resilience Act (ARA) was recently reintroduced and supporting it is a great way to get involved. The ARA is a comprehensive climate marker bill that has the potential to transform the next Farm Bill. The ARA has been championed by Maine’s Representative Chellie Pingree.
The ARA is a farmer-driven, science-informed roadmap for reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in US agriculture. It includes strategies for:
The ARA needs your support and now is the time for action! We have a key window for building support as 2023 Farm Bill drafting gets underway. Here are some ideas of actions you can take to support climate-friendly agriculture in the next Farm Bill:
Representative Chellie Pingree (District 1)
Washington DC Office – Phone: (202) 225-6116
Portland Office – Phone: (207) 774-5019
Representative Jared Golden (District 2)
Washington DC Office – Phone: (202) 225-6306
Bangor Office – Phone: (207) 248-7400
Senator Susan Collins
Washington DC Office – Phone: (202) 224-2523
Bangor Office – Phone: (207) 945-0417
Senator Angus King
Washington DC Office – Phone: (202) 224-5344
Bangor Office – Phone: (207) 945-8000
You can learn more about our 2023 Farm Bill Priorities by downloading a full copy of our top recommendations, which includes why the issue matters to Maine farmers, how we are advocating for change, and a list of specific desired changes within federal programs.
Are you a farmer interested in joining MFT to create policy change? Share your priorities and get involved.