Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and presidential advisor Brian Deese visited Michigan State University Thursday to announce a comprehensive national strategy to partner with farmers, ranchers and forest land owners to address the threat of climate change. The new initiative, “Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture & Forestry”, will utilize voluntary, incentive-based conservation, forestry, and energy programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration and expand renewable energy production in the agricultural and forestry sectors.
“This is an innovative and creative effort to look across all of USDA’s programs and put forward voluntary and incentive-based programs that will increase the bottom lines of ranchers and farmers while reducing net greenhouse gas emissions,” said Deese. “Taken together, these partnerships will reduce emissions by 120 million metric tons or two percent of our economy-wide emissions in 2025 – exactly the collaborative, bold action this moment demands of us.”
“American farmers and ranchers are leaders when it comes to reducing carbon emissions and improving efficiency in their operations. That’s why U.S. agricultural emissions are lower than the global average,” said Vilsack, who was joined by agricultural producers and other private partners in Michigan. “Through incentive-based initiatives, we can partner with producers to significantly reduce carbon emissions while improving yields, increasing farm operation’s energy efficiency, and helping farmers and ranchers earn revenue from clean energy production.”
Listen to or download announcement here: [wpaudio url=”http://www.zimmcomm.biz/usda/climate-4-23-15.mp3″ text=”White House Climate Change initiative announcement”]