Four witnesses representing the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance testified to the Senate Agriculture Committee during last week’s climate change hearing. Arizona Farm Bureau President Stefanie Smallhouse told lawmakers the group supports three principals, when it comes to involving farmers and ranchers in the solution.


“A very broad and diverse group of people have come together in the Food and Ag Climate Alliance and put together quite a few recommendations based on three principals: supporting voluntary markets and incentive-based policies, we want to advance science-based outcomes, and we want to promote resilience and help rural economies better adapt to changes in the climate.”

Smallhouse says many farmers are already utilizing climate-smart practices on their farms.

“Anybody that has implemented renewable energy practices on their farms, precision farming which limits the amount of nitrogen, cover crops, mulching practices, crop rotations for fixing nitrogen, no-till, we’ve got conservation tillage, rotational grazing for ranchers in the west, so lots of different things are happening right now. It just depends on where you are and what’s applicable and what you can afford, really.”

Smallhouse said the Food and Ag Climate Alliance includes the American Farm Bureau Federation, Environmental Defense Fund, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and National Farmers Union, providing a unified voice for agriculture.

“The fact that we’re lending a voice to this effort and we’re working along side the Environmental Defense Fund and several different cooperatives and different trade association in agriculture, shows that there’s a common thread in this effort that farmers can be part of the solution, and that solution should be voluntary and incentive-based, not punitive, and the fact that we’re already doing good work and that should be recognized.”

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