Subject: Comment on the Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad
I am writing in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Request for Public Comment on the Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, Docket Number USDA-2021-003.
Programs that pay only for carbon sequestration typically do not offer enough compensation to cover the cost of adopting the climate-smart practices, let alone cover the additional costs imposed by the implementation of climate policy.
A successful climate-ag program should compensate producers for the full cost of the practice adoption and climate policy costs, which can be done by rewarding farmers at a rate that reflects the stacked value of the environmental benefits that climate-smart practices deliver. This allows for public investment in a broad suite of environmental benefits while providing farmers with the financial incentives we need to adopt climate-smart practices on a wide scale. It also ensures that farmers are protected from the costs of climate policy, which can help avoid food price increases and grow the support of farmers for climate policy.
Farmers and ranchers have consistently shown adaptability and resilience in the face of changing circumstances, and we appreciate the opportunity to be involved as a partner in the development of this policy. To earn the support of farmers like me, a successful program should address the above issue, and also be voluntary, incentive-based, not penalize early actors, and have practical options for all farm types and sizes.
Thank you for considering my comments. I look forward to climate policy that will involve farmers as true champions and help improve our financial standing and increase our environmental sustainability.