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Farm Policy for the 21st Century

In this detailed report the Natural Resources Defense Council examines the environmentally destructive, climate-destabilizing agricultural policies of the US government and make case for a transition to more agroecological, regenerative policies and subsidies. NRDC writes:

“Agriculture currently accounts for 10 percent [editor’s note: it is actually much higher than this] of the United States’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Within agriculture, the largest source of GHG emissions are industrial farming practices that degrade soil health, pollute waterways, and harm biodiversity, followed by industrial animal production at confined animal feeding operations. Industrial agriculture is part of the climate problem. Regenerative agriculture, on the other hand, provides a path for agriculture to be part of the climate solution. Regenerative agriculture, a land management philosophy that focuses on farming and ranching in harmony with nature, presents a contrast to the dominant industrial agricultural model. By using principles and practices that build soil health, regenerative farmers and ranchers sequester carbon, clean waterways, and protect wildlife.

Currently, federal agricultural policy disproportionately serves industrial agriculture over regenerative agriculture. To learn more about how we can change policy to advance regenerative agriculture, we interviewed 113 farmers and ranchers across the country. Our interviewees told us what regenerative agriculture means to them, the opportunities to bring more acres under regenerative management, and the barriers standing in the way. They stressed that the larger food system needs reform to enable more regenerative agriculture and to support existing regenerative growers.”

Read more: Regenerative Agriculture: Farm Policy for the 21st Century