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NMPF Lauds Progress on Growing Climate Solutions Act, Welcomes Conservation Proposals

May 4, 2021

NMPF applauded bipartisan work being done on legislation that would bolster the many conservation and environmental efforts dairy producers are leading as they continue their everyday stewardship of air, land, and water resources.

Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) reintroduced on April 20 their bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act, which creates a USDA certification program permitting the department to informally endorse technical service providers that can help farmers implement environmental stewardship practices that may generate carbon credits.

The legislation, if passed, would greatly help dairy farmers seeking to achieve the sector’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality or better by 2050 through dairy’s Net Zero Initiative.

“We commend Chairwoman Stabenow and Senator Braun for continuing their bipartisan leadership on the Growing Climate Solutions Act, which would encourage greater farmer participation in environmental markets,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “This legislation will enhance the proactive, sustainable initiatives dairy farmers are expanding as our sector strives to achieve carbon neutrality.”

The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee passed the bill on April 22 with broad bipartisan support. On the same day, Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Don Bacon (R-NE) reintroduced the companion House measure. NMPF submitted written testimony supporting the measure on behalf of Mulhern and Environmental Issues Committee Chair Mike McCloskey for a hearing held on the bill last June.

NMPF additionally commended House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA), who last month put forward several measures to adapt farm bill conservation programs that help address climate change: allowing private sector funding to meet conservation program demand; emphasizing soil health and increasing funding for Conservation Innovation Trials; and incentivizing the adoption of precision agriculture systems.

“We thank Ranking Member Thompson for furthering the conversation on climate and sustainability by putting forward several proposals for discussion,” said Mulhern. “We agree that farm bill conservation programs can be vital to helping producers reduce their environmental footprint, and we look forward to more closely examining this suite of legislation and other proposals that may be introduced in the coming weeks.”