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NMPF, NCFC Lead Coalition Call for Climate-Smart Ag Investments

August 5, 2021

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) today led a coalition of 12 agricultural and conservation organizations on a letter advocating for significant new funding for climate-smart agricultural practices that can help farmers to build on their environmental stewardship leadership.

Congressional efforts toward infrastructure legislation provide opportunities for substantial new investments in conservation support, with more emphasis on climate-smart agricultural practices. USDA conservation financial incentives provide farmers with voluntary technical assistance to carry out numerous stewardship practices. But more can be done to enhance practices that can yield meaningful environmental benefits, such as climate-smart manure and feed management on dairy farms.

“Dairy farmers are proactive stewards of their land and water resources, but they are always seeking to innovate further. Dairy farmers in 2020 committed to become carbon-neutral or better by 2050 and maximize water quality around the country. Bolstering conservation investment and focusing on climate-smart practices better positions dairy farmers to fulfill the dairy sector’s 2050 environmental stewardship goals as envisioned in the Net Zero Initiative,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF.

“America’s farmer co-ops and their producer-owners stand ready to help address the global challenge posed by climate change. Increasing conservation funding for climate-friendly farming practices is essential to giving them the tools they need to do that and to continue their stewardship of our shared natural resources,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC.

NMPF, NCFC, and their colleagues call in the letter for increased spending on conservation incentives, including strong technical and financial assistance, with a greater focus on climate-smart practices. The organizations also support new rural broadband resources in pending infrastructure legislation. The letter also reiterates the major concerns that many of its signers have already voiced regarding several proposed changes to tax policy that would undermine the transfer of family farms from one generation to the next.

Organizations joining NMPF and NCFC on the letter include the Agricultural Retailers Association, American Seed Trade Association, CropLife America, National Association of Conservation Districts, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Farmers Union, National Potato Council, Produce Marketing Association, and U.S. Apple Association.