Senate Ag Committee Holds Climate Change Hearing


The Senate Agriculture Committee held its first hearing on climate change Thursday. Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, says sustainable practices farmers are using now help cut down their emissions. Stabenow says, “now it’s time to dramatically scale up this work.” Oklahoma Farmer Clay Pope, representing National Farmers Union, detailed how the Department of Agriculture helped his farm convert to no-till and cover crops.

Pope says, “Our investment in soil health has helped us better prepare for climate change in a way that’s helped both our bottom line and the environment.” Cori Wittman, representing the Environmental Defense, told the committee, “we need robust investment and research” to develop methods to address agriculture’s role in climate change. Wittman called on lawmakers to support the design of voluntary, incentive-based programs. Top Republican on the Committee, John Boozman of Arkansas, says, “While protecting our climate is critical, we must avoid a heavy-handed government approach.” The committee also heard testimony from representatives of USA Rice, GROWMARK and Arizona Farm Bureau.