Technical assistance

Congress should help farmers improve conservation – AgriNews

Hoosier farmers know what they’re doing. Every year, our agricultural industry powers Indiana, the nation and the world.

Why are we so successful? Early on, our farmers learned that taking care of the environment makes the land more productive. It means protecting the soil from the four seasons we know – and especially love – in the Midwest.

I am constantly amazed at how Hoosiers are experimenting and innovating in their fields, benefiting wildlife habitats while growing endless rows of 8ft corn. I saw this innovation with my own eyes during my summer visits to the Weese Family Farm in Fort Wayne and the Brocksmith Family Farm in Vincennes.

That’s not to say we don’t need a helping hand sometimes. Each farmer could use an expert to brainstorm ideas or try out a new technique. It’s hard to get creative when the day begins before sunrise and ends well after sunset.

That’s why I introduced the Conservation and Climate Innovation Act to do just that – provide a little extra help to farmers who are trying to improve conservation without ruining their business operations.

My bill would create a modest grant program to fund partnerships between non-profit universities and public bodies. These partnerships would provide direct technical assistance, workshops, webinars, testing or general training to farmers seeking to adopt or expand innovative climate conservation or practice.

By harnessing the latest research at our granting universities, my bill would ensure that science reaches its intended destination: the farmer.

Agriculture, business, environmentalists and academia support this proposal because it will work and allow everyone to continue to improve and prosper.

We don’t have to start from scratch to fight climate change. Why not support the Hoosiers who are already great stewards of our land?

Instead, the Washington liberals think it makes sense to punish agriculture and raise energy prices for middle- and low-income Americans. Their misguided policies are the opposite of cooperation, and they ignore the enormous progress already made by our farming community.

The pandemic has shown us what happens when human lives and economic vitality are at stake. A true economic recovery will require policies that enable all individuals and job creators to succeed, not just those the left approves.

The far-left attack on our farmers is sadly yet another example of the coastal elites disconnecting with the resolution of common sense issues in which our farming communities excel on a daily basis.

Taxing small businesses and increasing regulations for family farms is one way to cut emissions, of course. But we must be wary that weakening our economy and our food supply is one of the surest ways to accelerate damage to humans.

Experts on both sides of the aisle recognize that climate change policies are often more likely to harm food production and exacerbate rural poverty than climate change itself.

I fight every day to make sure that the policies debated in Congress are not hijacked by those who are out of touch with reality, especially when it comes to climate issues.

It is time for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and from all parts of the country, to sit down to the table and find solutions that can benefit everyone.

Agriculture is the lifeblood of our economy and we cannot leave it behind. My Conservation and Climate Innovation Partnership Act is a great place to start.

Todd Young is an American lawyer and politician serving as Senior US Senator for Indiana, a seat he has held since 2017. He currently sits on the US Senate Finance Committees; Foreign relations; Commerce, science and transport; and small businesses and entrepreneurship.


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