Regenerative Agriculture: How Farmers and Ranchers are Essential to Solving Climate Change and Increasing Food Production
On Tuesday, July 19, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. ET, Rep. Ro Khanna, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment, will hold a hybrid hearing to examine regenerative agriculture, the role it can play in preventing the worst of the climate crisis while protecting food supply, and the urgent need to reform federal policies that unjustly favor corporate agribusiness, often at the expense of family farmers.
Climate change fundamentally threatens the world’s food supply as extreme weather events, water scarcity, pests, and warming make it harder to grow staple crops and renders farmland unusable. Regenerative agricultural practices, such as rotating crops, can help reduce and reverse the desertification of farmland, increase nutrients in the soil, and enhance food security.
The unfair market power held by corporate agribusiness, however, limits the freedom for small- and medium-sized farmers to adopt regenerative agricultural practices. While a small number of companies control most of the market for beef, pork, and grain, family farmers earn just 16 cents of every dollar spent on food.
The federal government already supports regenerative agriculture and conservation methods, but many of these programs are oversubscribed and under resourced. Some federal policy, however, supports inherently unsustainable practices, such as concentrated feeding operations, which produce large amounts of waste that cause significant greenhouse gas emissions and can runoff into water resources.
The hearing will examine how Congress can amend federal policies that unjustly protect corporate agribusiness, often at the expense of family farmers, and fully fund farm conservation programs.
Filmore County, Minnesota
Grain Farmer and Cattle Producer
Livingston County, Missouri
Brian Lacefield – Minority witness
Kentucky Office of Agricultural Policy