As a livestock farmer in Central Iowa, I’m thankful to see Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley working across the aisle to pass common-sense policies that will strengthen Iowa’s farming and agriculture community while tackling the issue of emission reduction. Their mutual support of the Growing Climate Solutions Act is good for Iowa farmers and our country’s carbon reduction efforts.
Farmers in Iowa and across the country are on the frontlines when it comes to dealing with the impacts of a changing environment. Changing weather patterns, more severe storms, longer periods of drought and a range of other factors have a direct impact on our lives and livelihoods — and it isn’t a good one. The agricultural community needs to have a seat at the table to develop climate-smart, farmer-friendly solutions that will address the need to lower carbon emissions in a way that supports our industry.
That’s why the Growing Climate Solutions Act is so important. It would direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create a program to help farmers adopt sustainable agriculture practices like carbon sequestration and connect them to marketplaces where they could sell the carbon credits they accumulate to businesses looking to offset their own emissions. This is a smart, market-based solution that would reduce emissions while providing new, steady streams of revenue for farmers.
Central Iowa is no stranger to smart clean energy solutions — as evidenced by the growing number of wind turbines and wind energy jobs, including here in Jasper County. Expanding sustainable agricultural practices through a voluntary, market-based program would expand on these efforts by helping Iowa farmers modernize and update their practices. It’s a win-win for the environment and agricultural economy.
Perhaps that’s why the Growing Climate Solutions Act has gained widespread support from agricultural, environmental, and business organizations — as well as bipartisan support in the Senate. This is the right approach to crafting thoughtful, effective environmental policy. I hope Senators Ernst and Grassley continue working with the bill’s sponsors as well as their colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this important legislation.