A bipartisan group of senators, including Indiana Republican Mike Braun, introduced a bill last week to help agriculture contribute to and benefit from comprehensive climate solutions. The Growing Climate Solutions Act directs the Department of Agriculture to create a certification program that will make it easier for farmers to sell environmental credits.
Indiana Farmer Brent Bible says the legislation rewards farmers for sustainable practices on their farm.
“Farmers, at their core, are businessmen, but they are also conservationists and they are also environmentalists. Farmers want to do the right thing for their farms, their ranches, so that they can sustain those operations, not just over their lifetime, but over generations. This Act gives us the opportunity to do those things and have some guidance and direction in what practices are good for the environment and there is an economic benefit for doing those particular things.”
USDA would review the science and define the rules of the program. Then approved private sector certifiers would work directly with farmers to find value in the conservation practices farmers choose to use.
The bill, sponsored by Republicans Braun and Lindsey Graham and Democrats Debbie Stabenow and Sheldon Whitehouse, should open a new revenue stream for farmers.
Bible says the bill champions conservation efforts and provides value back to the farmer.
“Personally, for me, it’s good to see Indiana, through Senator Braun, being a leader in conservation. Indiana has done that in the past. No till practices, cover cropping practices are widely used in this state. To see Senator Braun step up and provide a capitalistic marketplace opportunity for farmers to continue to benefit from those practices is very encouraging. And, what that brings to the table is a voluntary open marketplace with limited government involvement and intervention.”
Read more on the bill here.