Green New Deal Supporters Reaching Out to Ag

The February rollout of the Green New Deal was not well received in agricultural circles. Even some self-proclaimed ag progressives were less than enthusiastic. Allies of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are starting to reach out to agriculture experts to discuss the proposed legislation. A Drovers’ article says it might be a sign that the bill’s sponsor may be trying to engage rural interests. Frank Mitloehner of the University of California-Davis is one of the nation’s top agricultural emissions experts. He described himself as “thrilled” when two outreach staff affiliated with Ocasio-Cortez reached out to set up a phone call to discuss the potential for climate mitigation efforts in ag. During the Green New Deal’s introduction, social media exploded after the legislation mentioned getting rid of “farting cows.” Mitloehner says as a result of that term, many of his colleagues aren’t taking the Green New Deal and its supporters seriously. “I hear all these people talking about sustainability in farming,” he says. “Who is more of an expert on sustainability in farming than a farmer? Who has a greater interest in the sustainability of their lands than a farmer?” Mitloehner says farmers should be the ones leading the discussion on sustainability, not Ocasio-Cortez and her supporters.