Nebraska Farmers Union Head Call For Action On Climate Change

Image (2) Ed-Fallon-talking-with-a-farmer-along-the-pipeline-route-300x174.jpg for post 29358

While not Iowa specifically, Nebraska is in the neighborhood. What applies to them probably has application to Iowa.


 “The Farmers Union has been a leader in the climate issue,” John Hansen told Hill.TV. “We want there to be an appropriate response at the state level, at the federal level.”

“We need to look at agriculture as an opportunity to help take a bunch of excess carbon that’s in the air and sequester it through the plant and into the roots, into the soil,” Hansen added.

He emphasized the need for more tools and better research, saying elected officials can’t afford to waste any time in addressing the issue.

“We’re at a point where the longer we wait, the more costly the fix is going to be and the more radical the changes will need to be,” he told Hill.TV.

The question over how to best address climate change and carbon emissions has become a decisive issue among Democratic primary candidates.

(There is a video at the link that I was unable to link to)

Considering that farmers should be among the first and the most critically affected by climate change it is encouraging to see some leadership calling for action.

It is also worth noting that the scientific progress that Mr. Hansen is calling for will most likely be severely hampered by the the Department of Agriculture’s decision to move many of its scientists to Kansas City. A good portion of those scientists have refused the move thus causing a major loss of scientists at this critical time. Almost seems like that was planned to hamper research into climate change effects on agriculture.

From NPR:

Two vital research agencies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are hemorrhaging staff as less than two-thirds of the researchers asked to relocate from Washington to the Kansas City area have agreed to do so.


But groups such as the Union of Concerned Scientists call it a “blatant attack on science” that will “especially hurt farmers, ranchers and eaters at a particularly vulnerable time.”

The American Federation of Government Employees, the union representing the USDA’s Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, said the relocation “has resulted in catastrophic attrition at USDA’s top research agencies.”

“Evidence suggests that the relocation of these agencies is an attempt to hollow out and dismantle USDA science that helps farmers and protects our food supply,” the union added.

It almost begins to look as if this administration is at war with its most loyal voting bloc, the farmers.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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2 Responses to Nebraska Farmers Union Head Call For Action On Climate Change

  1. C.A. says:

    I spoke this past week with several farmers who know that climate change is real and are working to reduce it. There are many other farmers who are environmental realists and are working to do the right things for water, soil, the climate, and our planet. They deserve public gratitude and more public support, including financial support.

    But there are also many farmers whose response to climate change and farm pollution so far has been to try to vote out the messengers, stick their fingers in their ears, and continue with business as usual. And they are getting public financial support in the form of crop insurance, tax breaks, and other help. At what point should we start requiring better stewardship for our money?

    It should be noted that Iowa’s soil and water conservation district commissioners, who are by no means a liberal bunch (and many are farmers themselves), recently voted to support a resolution calling for a requirement that Iowa farmers establish buffer strips next to creeks, rivers, and lakes. That’s a requirement Minnesota already has.

    But requiring any kind of farm conservation in Iowa has been a big political taboo. It’s time for that taboo to end. As of now, farm pollution progress in Iowa consists of a very large number of farmers who are doing little or nothing, hiding behind a much smaller group of farmers who are actually making progress. That’s no way to end up with clean water.


    • Dave Bradley says:

      As usual an excellent comment. Your points have been the stuff of big debates in Iowa with little progress as well you know.


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