U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.), along with Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), last week introduced the Conservation and Innovative Climate Partnership Act to support farmers seeking to adopt conservation and innovative climate practices on their farms.
This bill bridges the divide between the innovative research taking place at land-grant institutions and those who farm for a living by helping family farms adopt climate friendly strategies like planting cover crops and using no-till practices.
“Hoosier farms feed our families and are integral to our supply chains. Every farmer faces unique decisions in their farm management, and pressure from the federal government to cut carbon emissions can place stress on the good work already underway,” said Senator Young. “My Conservation and Innovative Climate Partnership Act gives farmers access to the latest tools and research in order to be successful while keeping American soil productive and healthy.”
“Strong farm programs that encourage conservation and climate practices will help farmers maintain sustainable and productive operations well into the future,” said Senator Tina Smith. “They will also help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions to fight climate change. This bill connects farmers with the information and resources they need to take action.”
“The Purdue University College of Agriculture, the state’s land-grant institution, supports the Conservation and Innovative Climate Partnership Act sponsored by Senators Todd Young, Tina Smith, Mike Braun, and Brian Schatz. Purdue Extension provides tools and insights to help people, communities and farmers make climate smart decisions, and this legislation will provide support and funding to move these important efforts forward,” said Dr. Karen Plaut, Glenn W. Sample Dean of the College of Agriculture.
The Conservation and Innovative Climate Partnership Act would do the following:
- Enable partnerships between land-grant institutions and local farmers to increase uptake of conservation and innovative climate practices
- Allow farmers to voluntarily adopt practices that suit their individualized needs
- Require land-grant institutions to partner with a non-profit, state, or federal entity
- Allow the partnership to conduct a variety of activities to support farming communities like workshops, distribution of digital materials, and tests to measure the effectiveness of conservation and climate smart practices
- Provide $13 million in funding for 4-year grants, with a maximum grant of $400,000
The one pager of this bill can be found here. Companion legislation was also sponsored on the House side by Representatives Newhouse (R-Wash.-4), Spanberger (D-Va.-7), and Pingree (D-Maine-1).
Bill supporters include Purdue University, Indiana Corn Growers Association, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana Farm Bureau, Agribusiness Council of Indiana, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, Corteva, Environmental Defense Fund, Washington State University, The Nature Conservancy, and Washington Potato Council.