FARM Act Reintroduced
By Sydney Sheffield
The Future of Agricultural Resiliency and Modernization Act (FARM Act), designed to help farmers more effectively fight climate change, has been reintroduced by Representative Josh Harder (D-CA), The FARM Act was first introduced by Harder in 2020 and referred to the Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry.
“Farmers are always treated like the enemy when it comes to climate change – and that’s just not how it works. Folks in the [California’s Central] Valley want to be on the cutting edge of climate-friendly farming, and so many of our folks are already on the road to get there. This bill is about doing our part to help every farmer become a leader in the fight against climate change,” said Harder. “We’ve worked hard to get both the agricultural and environmental communities support for this bill because it’s important we stop the finger-pointing and get to real solutions. This is an opportunity for all of us to start working together to solve this shared problem. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the future of our planet is on the line.”
The bill would establish two new programs that are designed to help farmers. The first is The Farm Fund, which creates a brand-new fund worth $2.5 billion to help farmers fight climate change on the ground. The fund will help farmers adopt new technology and practices to cut emissions, increase sequestration of carbon, improve air, water, and soil health, and invest in lower-emission equipment.
The second is the Cutting-Edge Pyrolysis Program, which would set aside $25 million to support ten pilot programs across the country which convert tree nut by-products into biocarbon products that can be reused. If these programs would reduce emissions by 546 million metric tons over the next 20 years, which is equivalent to removing about 5 million cars.
This legislation has support within the agricultural industry. “We commend Representative Josh Harder for putting forward the FARM Act to provide additional funding for innovative technologies such as digesters and nutrient recovery systems, which can play a vital role in the ongoing stewardship work being undertaken by dairy farmers,” said Jim Mulhern, President & CEO, National Milk Producers Federation. “We look forward to working with Congressman Harder on this proposal to better equip dairy producers in California and nationwide to build on their proactive environmental efforts.”
Read a summary of the bill here.