AFA spearheaded a Congressional directive to have the USDA to help farmers transition to growing plants.
On June 30, 2021, the House Appropriations Committee voted to advance ‘report’ language that was spearheaded by AFA. It directs the USDA to help farmers transition to growing plants as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Here’s the text:
SUSTAINABLE FARMING METHODS
The Committee recognizes the urgent necessity of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to mitigate the impacts of global climate change and the important role the agriculture sector can play in that effort. Small and midsize farmers are uniquely positioned in mitigating the cumulative effects of climate change. The Committee encourages USDA to review its conservation practice standards and technical resources to identify and develop best practices and related conservation systems for existing small and independent farmers seeking to transition to more sustainable farming methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from nitrogen fertilizers and to sequester carbon as part of any commodity crop, specialty crop, horticulture, or forage production.– docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP00/20210630/112874/HMKP-117-AP00-20210630-SD005.pdf#page=59
This gives the AFA lobbying team standing for working with the USDA to implement a program to help farmers transition to producing plants.
What ‘report’ language is
Unlike legislation that tends to be long on specifics, this ‘report’ language is more like a general directive to the USDA. The agency has a lot of latitude in how it interprets this directive. So AFA will be there to make sure they understand how to implement this directive. We want to make sure that it actually helps farmers like Dan and Paul to transition to producing plant foods for humans.
AFA’s partner farmers call for options to transition
AFA works with farmers around the nation who call on Congress to evolve farm policy toward promoting plant-protein production.
“A transition program would be a better, more permanent solution than the current insurance programs and one-time payments that we currently get. As a dairy farmer, I would much rather get funding to transition to something better than get funding to keep producing milk for a market that already has a surplus. I would feel better knowing I’m producing something in high demand that’s also benefiting the environment.”-Wisconsin Dairy Farmer Working with AFA