Mobilizing Farmers, Ranchers and Scientists as Window of Opportunity Narrows on Climate Change
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Washington, D.C. (February 6, 2020) – Farmers, ranchers and scientists are at the center of an unprecedented effort announced today to develop and deploy climate-smart solutions on a global scale.
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) are establishing an Agriculture-Climate Partnership to unlock the climate-solving potential in farmlands. While agriculture contributes 13 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally, it also presents an effective solution that can eliminate agriculture’s emissions and offset those of other sectors. Through climate smart agriculture practices, farmers and ranchers can optimize for growing, improve resiliency, minimize fertilizers and other inputs, improve water use and quality, and improve soil, all while storing carbon for future generations.
“The challenge is enormous, but so are the stakes. Climate change is threatening farmers and ranchers’ livelihoods and the global food supply,” said Dr. Sally Rockey, FFAR’s executive director. “While there is much research and data on the climate-agriculture intersection, these efforts are fragmented, which slows progress. This partnership will foster collaboration between farmers, ranchers, scientists and others from across the food and agriculture sectors to address greenhouse gas emissions in a coordinated way, as a united front.”
This partnership envisions a world where every farmer and rancher is employing at least one climate-smart solution on every acre of farmland. The goal is for agriculture to be net negative for greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
FFAR is bringing the best scientific minds in food and agriculture together to develop and test actionable solutions customized by geography, farm type, crops, livestock and climate. USFRA is then mobilizing its vast network of farmers and ranchers to co-create and deploy climate-smart solutions. The coordination starts in the U.S. and will move internationally, as the World Farmers Organisation (WFO) expands efforts on a global scale.
“No two farms are alike which means the path to climate-smart farming may look a little, or a lot, different from farm to farm,” said Erin Fitzgerald, CEO, USFRA. “The challenge is accelerating the activation of this potential in soils and simultaneously developing tools and technology that can reduce new emissions while adapting to the rapidly shifting weather patterns that farmers and ranchers are facing year over year. And all of this to be economically and environmentally sustainable.”
FFAR and USFRA have already invested $50 million in projects advancing research efforts to reduce GHG emissions from agriculture and are actively seeking matching funds from outside partners to accelerate and expand the program. The full scope of the anticipated effort is estimated at $200 million.
While the full scope of the types of climate-smart practices are part of this partnership, examples include cover crops, no-till and conservation till, variable rate technology, rotational grazing, manure fractionation, split nitrogen application, among others.
The first five years of this partnership is crucial, for both the sustainability of farms and the potential to build the framework and multiply the reach. Over time, the partnership will lead to the creation of a Climate Smart Activation Platform, providing practical, environmentally and economically sustainable solutions that farmers can utilize to refine and incorporate their climate-smart practices and technology, build resiliency and contribute to agriculture being net negative for greenhouse gas emissions.
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization originally established by bipartisan Congressional support in the 2014 Farm Bill, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today's food and agriculture challenges. FFAR leverages public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population.
U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) represents farmer and rancher-led organizations, and food and agricultural partners, with a common vision to further our global sustainable food systems. We believe farmers uniquely contribute to nourishing our planet, people, and natural resources. Our focus is creating a proactive collaboration between the best minds in food, agriculture, science, and technology to co-create solutions that will result in environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Learn more at www.usfarmersandranchers.org.
The World Farmers Organisation, is an International Organisation of Farmers for Farmers, which aims to bring together all the national producer and farm cooperative organisations with the objective of developing policies which favor and support farmers' causes in developed and developing countries around the world.