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Last week, Executive Director, Dr. Shefali Mehta, participated in the Senate briefing, “An Overview of Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry” that highlighted the agricultural practices farmers are adopting that can help mitigate climate change.

Ecosystem Services Market Consortium Executive Director, Debbie Reed, moderated the briefing hosted by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. The briefing educated a large, diverse group of hill staffers interested in learning more about how farming practices are helping make farmers more resilient in the face of a changing climate. She highlighted the various soil health practices that contribute to “climate smart” practices utilized in agricultural production. These practices contribute to both climate change mitigation as well as adaptation. 

“Our goal is to meet the needs of our farmers as they add more ‘tools’ to their toolkit in the face of changing economic conditions, changes in the structure of agriculture in the United States, and a changing climate,” Mehta said. “The farmers who work with SHP and the organizations that support us do so because they recognize that we need more information about how to implement practices that are effective, feasible for farmers to implement, and have climate and environmental benefits. However, we can not do this alone. The contribution and involvement of government agencies, as well as private companies and others along the food and ag value chain is critical. Agriculture crosses many sectors, and thus, takes the work of many groups working together to find innovative and impactful solutions.” 

Mehta also outlined the various private investments made by farmers with public benefit outcomes. Mehta concluded, “Through strong, outcome-based collaborations, like ours, we are learning about the economic impacts to farmers and ways to improve adoption by mitigating risks and improving the bottom line. By supporting farmers making these investments, we increase the overall well-being of farmers and society overall.”

We thank the bipartisan Senate Agriculture Committee for continuing to highlight this key topic and look forward to sharing more about what farmers are doing and how we can work together to find tenable solutions.