Noting that climate goals outlined May 6 by the Biden administration will have real, on-the-ground implications for farmers and ranchers, the California Farm Bureau urged the administration to listen to farmers’ and ranchers’ voices as it fleshes out its “30 x 30” plan.
California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson said the administration’s plan appropriately acknowledges the role farmers, ranchers and foresters already play and can play in addressing climate change, but said that acknowledgement must carry through as the plan is implemented.
“The voluntary efforts California farmers already perform – such as cov
er cropping, no-till farming and the establishment of land-conservation tools such as easements – should be accounted for as government agencies refine working-lands policies,” Johansson said. “We will work with the administration to ensure it considers the practical implications of its policies for farmers and ranchers.”
The state of California has already announced its own intention to protect 30% of land and water by 2030, and Johansson said farmers and ranchers have shown willingness to adapt as needed in response to climate change.
“California’s working lands represent part of the solution to climate goals, and the objective of climate policy should be to keep working lands working,” he said. “California farmers, ranchers and foresters are world leaders in promoting soil health, using water efficiently, enhancing wildlife and simultaneously producing safe, affordable food and farm products for consumers.”
Noting the state’s agricultural diversity, Johansson said California farmers and ranchers must have flexibility to manage land in ways that will succeed for their crops and employees, and for the type and scale of their operations.
“One-size-fits-all approaches will fail,” he said. “Providing farmers a menu of options most appropriate for their farm or ranch holds the best chance for success. On-farm strategies for addressing climate change must be backed by research and be practical for farmers to implement – because for farms and ranches to meet their conservation goals, they must also meet economic goals.”
The California Farm Bureau works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 32,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of nearly 5.6 million Farm Bureau members.