Twenty-one farm groups came together today to launch Farmers for a Sustainable Future, a coalition committed to environmental and economic sustainability.
The farm group leaders gathered for the launch event avoided the term climate change, but highlighted the efforts of their sectors in increasing efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Leaders said they intend to make sure accurate data based on sound science is shared with policymakers, the media and the public.
American Soybean Association CEO Ryan Findlay said, “Soybean farmers have an awesome story to tell, including their sustainability initiatives, so it’s great to be able to collaborate with like-minded organizations to facilitate sound policy and program decisions and have a platform to share our efforts.”
“Today’s launch of the Farmers for a Sustainable Future is a defining moment,” said National Cattlemen's Beef Association vice president for government affairs, Ethan Lane. “Twenty-one agricultural groups — which represent the vast majority of the agricultural industry in our country — are standing side by side in unity to correct a false narrative that has haunted us for as long as I can remember. We’re here because we support incentivizing innovation, science-based research, resilient infrastructure, and focusing on outcomes.”
As policy proposals are developed and considered, the coalition's goal is for its guiding principles to serve as a foundation to ensure the adoption of meaningful and constructive policies and programs affecting agriculture.
FSF’s guiding principles call for:
- policies that support science-based research,
- voluntary incentive-based conservation programs,
- investment in infrastructure, and
- solutions that ensure vibrant rural communities and a healthy planet.
The coalition members who spoke at the launch also emphasized that while they've made a lot of progress toward sustainability, they are committed to continuous improvement.
The NCBA, for example, is a founding member of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, whose mission is to advance, support and communicate about beef's sustainability.
The U.S. pork industry, too, has become more efficient, through improvements to animal genetics, changing feed rations and the introduction of technology in animal husbandry, said Michael Formica, National Pork Producers Council Assistant Vice President, Domestic Affairs and Counsel. Pork producers have faced challenges and come out of those challenges with more sustainably produced products.
Farmers have a great story to tell, said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, and Farmers for a Sustainable Future will help them spread the word.
FSF members include American Farm Bureau Federation, American Pulse Association, American Sugar Alliance, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Barley Growers Association, National Cattleman's Beef Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council of America, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Farmers Union, National Sorghum Producers, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Sunflower Association, Southern Peanut Farmers Association, United Egg Producers, U.S. Canola Association, U.S. Dry Bean Council, USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council, USA Rice.
More about the coalition members, guiding principles and sustainability achievements can be found at sustainablefarming.us.