Vilsack calls for passage of climate bill

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack joined Senator Debbie Stabenow, chair of the Senate Ag Committee, in Michigan Friday to highlight the benefits of climate policy to agriculture.

Secretary Vilsack wants agriculture and forestry to lead the effort on climate solutions and emphasized his support of the Growing Climate Solutions Act in the U.S. Senate which he tells Brownfield will lay the foundation to climate policy, “Because it will provide confidence and certainty and consistency in terms of the standards and protocols to apply to conservation efforts that result in positive climate benefits—and that’s what creates the market opportunity for us,” he says.

As farmers experience greater impacts from the changing climate, Vilsack says the farm bill also needs to be retrofitted to better meet the needs of climate related issues, “We have programs that deal with specific weather-related issues, we don’t really have the kind of program that would provide the long-term assistance that would deal with a drought that goes on for years as opposed to an event that might take a month or two to get over,” he says.

Senator Stabenow says she expects the legislation to pass the Senate soon which then moves to the U.S. House for consideration.

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