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· Agriculture Must Be Part of Climate Change Negotiations, Says Farm Bureau
· AFBF President Zippy Duvall Recaps 2020 Challenges and Looks Ahead to Working Well with the Biden Administration in His Annual Convention Address
Agriculture Must Be Part of Climate Change Negotiations, Says Farm Bureau
By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming
Agriculture.com - 1/11/2021
Although blamed for 10% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, agriculture has a “great track record” through land stewardship and biofuels in mitigating climate change, says Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, in looking ahead to the Biden administration. “We must make sure we are at the table for discussions around climate change.”
Speaking during the opening session of the AFBF annual convention, held online this year, Duvall said, “Farmers have a great story to tell when it comes to protecting our environment,” noting that roughly 140 million acres, or 219,000 square miles, of farmland are enrolled in federal soil and water conservation programs and biofuels “reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 71 million tonnes per year.”
“Now, I’m not saying we can rest on those laurels. But I believe agriculture’s great track record shows just how much we can achieve when farmers and ranchers are at the table when we develop solutions,” said Duvall.
President-elect Biden has described climate change as an existential threat and vowed to propose comprehensive legislation to slow global warming. He wants American agriculture to be the first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, and says farmers can earn money as part of it by sequestering carbon in the soil. One think tank report suggested steps such as a “carbon bank” at USDA to assist landowners in adopting “climate-smart land management practices.”
A decade ago, Farm Belt opposition helped to defeat the Obama administration’s cap-and-trade proposal for curbing greenhouse gases. Attitudes are becoming more welcoming. A recently formed alliance of farm, environmental and food retailer groups, including AFBF, says climate action in their sector should be built on voluntary action, spurred by tax credits, and market-driven opportunities such as carbon trading. Some environmental groups say voluntary efforts have been insufficient to reduce nutrient runoff from farms or to limit pollution from large livestock operations...
AFBF President Zippy Duvall Recaps 2020 Challenges and Looks Ahead to Working Well with the Biden Administration in His Annual Convention Address
Oklahoma Farm Report
11 Jan 2021
The following are remarks made by AFBF President Zippy Duvall during the Opening General Session of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 102nd Annual Convention:- you can listen to the address by clicking on the LISTEN BAR at the bottom of this story.
Well, thank you, Scott for that great introduction. And, I want to say thank you for being the vice president of American Farm Bureau, and what a great partner you’ve been for me for the five years that we’ve served together. Thank you so much.
Welcome, Farm Bureau members to the 102nd annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation. A year ago, we thought we’d be standing in San Diego today. But, because of the pandemic, we had to change our plans. So, today, I have the honor of speaking to you from my farm here in Greensboro, Georgia. So, you may hear a cow bellow, or you may even hear a goat yell out. But, don’t let that bother you. They’re just the sounds of life here on the farm.
I want to thank California Farm Bureau, because when we made up our mind to go to San Diego, it was because they invited us and offered to be our host.
2020 has been a difficult year, but there’s been silver linings within the challenges that we met. One of those silver linings is being able to do this convention virtually and being able to touch thousands of members that never had the opportunity to see our annual convention. We hope that you can collect the information that will inform you, and empower you, and inspire you to be a more active Farm Bureau member. If you’re not a member and you’re just checking us out, welcome, we’re glad to have you. American Farm Bureau is the largest general farm organization in the country. We have tremendous influence, but our influence comes from our leaders and our policies, and our policy comes straight from the farm. So, we hope over the next few days, you’ll enjoy our sessions and you’ll inform yourself to the point that you’ll want to be a member of our Farm Bureau family.
2020 has been a year of challenges and high expectations for our farmers - expectations that we will continue to grow the food, fiber and energy for our country and a lot of the rest of the world. We have risen to that challenge and those expectations, all along trying to protect our employees and families from this pandemic.
I am so proud of Farm Bureau as we have worked with our counties and states to help our farmers get through this difficult time. Back in February, we would just use Zoom or virtual meetings just as a sideline. Now, we do thousands of them a month; five or six of them a day, communicating back with our states and our counties. We even had one call where the president of the United States joined our state presidents and invited all our county presidents to join us. Fifteen hundred county presidents across the nation had the opportunity to listen to the president of the United States speak to them personally. And, then we had Secretary Perdue, and we had Administrator Wheeler at EPA, and a lot of people in between that could speak to the issues that you were facing.
But, at the end of those meetings was the most important part. That’s when we listened to your leadership to know what you were experiencing on the farm, because what we wanted to do at American Farm Bureau was to find solutions to your issues and to the food chain...
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