This is another one of many things that our corporate media will either probably not carry or if it is carried will be done so as a story with little information around it.
This is also a story that breaks some of the myths of our political life in this country. Farmers and ranchers in this country are painted with a broad brush by the media as a group that is nearly 100% loyal to trump no matter what. They are also painted as being nearly 100% against any environmental rules.
The myth of the united front of farmers and ranchers was exploded Wednesday when a coalition representing over 10,000 farmers and ranchers held a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC to support the goals of the Green New Deal. From Common Dreams:
At a press conference on Capitol Hill and in a letter to lawmakers, farmers and ranchers from across the country said reducing fossil fuel emissions to net zero by 2030 is needed to sustain their livelihood and is achievable—but only with congressional support for large-scale reforms to the agricultural industry.
“We stand ready to help achieve all of these [Green New Deal] goals,” wrote the coalition, led by the Sunrise Movement and Regeneration International. “But we need Congress to work with us to develop food and agriculture policies that support climate-friendly organic and regenerative farming, ranching, and land-use practices.”
Washington must shift its attention from the consolidated corporate agribusiness sector back to small family farms, the coalition said.
“We also ask that Congress stop subsidizing monopolistic, extractive industrial agriculture practices that pollute the environment, produce unhealthy food, and disproportionately devastate rural communities and economies,” reads the letter.
“With a Green New Deal, we have a historic opportunity to break corporate control of farming, invest in rural America, and stand behind the hard-working people who grow our food every day,” he Garrett Blad, national press coordinator for the Sunrise Movement added.
The Green New Deal calls on lawmakers to work alongside farmers and ranchers to remove pollution from the agricultural sector—which creates about 13 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions—by supporting family farming rather than subsidizing corporate factory farms and investing in sustainable farming.
Moving to net zero carbon emissions by 2030 is achievable, the coalition wrote, but only with a rapid shift to a renewable energy economy and large-scale reforms to farming systems, such as a shift to regenerative agriculture—farming practices including no-till farming and composting, which increase biodiversity and enhance ecosystems by capturing carbon in soil and foliage.
“New agricultural policies could provide greater support for practices such as cover cropping, rotational grazing, agroforestry, and silvopasture,” the coalition wrote. “These practices are proven to restore ecosystem health, including the soil’s potential to sequester carbon. Policies that support better farming and ranching practices would make our farming businesses less vulnerable to the impact of climate change and more financially resilient.”
“Farmers are our allies in the fight against climate change. For them, change is already at their door, and they’re feeling the effects,” said Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) in a statement. “Farmers and ranchers have a critical role to play in mitigating the devastating effects of greenhouse gas emissions. As this Congress prioritizes bold solutions to the climate crisis change, we must remember to bring farmers to the table.”
Farmers and ranchers are not a homogenous group that has one belief and almost totally supports rolling back environmental standards. Forward thinking farmers and ranchers understand that their future is tied to a healthy planet. They also understand that they play a vital role in making the planet healthy.