Harder Introduces Landmark Legislation to Help Farmers Lead on Climate Change
WASHINGTON — Today, Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) reintroduced his Future of Agricultural Resiliency and Modernization (FARM) Act which would help farmers across the country more effectively fight climate change. The bill would establish two new landmark climate-focused initiatives to support the efforts of farmers to implement climate-friendly farming methods and technologies. The first would provide $2.5 billion in funding to help farmers reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration, improve air, water, and soil quality, and convert agriculture by-products to efficient uses. The second would establish a first-of-its-kind pyrolysis grant program to help tree nut farmers convert by-products into climate-friendly biocarbon products.
“Farmers are always treated like the enemy when it comes to climate change – and that’s just not how it works. Folks in the Valley want to be on the cutting edge of climate-friendly farming, and so many of our folks are already on the road to get there. This bill is about doing our part to help every farmer become a leader in the fight against climate change,” said Rep. Harder. “We’ve worked hard to get both the agricultural and environmental communities support for this bill because it’s important we stop the finger pointing and get to real solutions. This is an opportunity for all of us to start working together to solve this shared problem. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the future of our planet is on the line.”
“We commend Representative Josh Harder for putting forward the FARM Act to provide additional funding for innovative technologies such as digesters and nutrient recovery systems, which can play a vital role in the ongoing stewardship work being undertaken by dairy farmers,” said Jim Mulhern, President & CEO, National Milk Producers Federation. “We look forward to working with Congressman Harder on this proposal to better equip dairy producers in California and nationwide to build on their proactive environmental efforts.”
“As extreme heat, drought, devastating wildfires, intense flooding, and more violent storms ravage our country and communities across the world, the need for aggressive, comprehensive climate action has never been more urgent,” said Madeleine Foote, Deputy Legislative Director for the League of Conservation Voters. “Rep. Harder’s FARM Act is an important piece to solving the climate crisis by acknowledging the critical role farmers, farm workers, and the agricultural sector must play in tackling climate change. We greatly appreciate Rep. Harder’s leadership in working to provide farmers with the tools they need to reduce their carbon footprint while also improving soil health, air and water quality, and resilience in the agriculture sector. We look forward to continuing to work with Rep. Harder to ensure a healthy and safe climate for all communities.”
“A promising new biofuel derived from almond harvest byproducts has been developed and the Almond Alliance commends Rep. Harder for including funding in the FARM Act to support ten nationwide pilot programs to convert tree nut by-products into biocarbon products that can be reused,” said Elaine Trevino, President of the Almond Alliance of California. “This process, which involves heating wood byproducts in the absence of oxygen and high temperature, is called pyrolysis. California’s almond growers are proud to be innovators who are constantly looking to put everything we grow to its highest and best use. We appreciate Congressman Harder’s efforts to support these efforts to develop climate-friendly biocarbon and biofuel products and innovations.”
The bill establishes two new programs designed to help farmers fight climate change:
- The FARM Fund - This program creates a brand-new fund worth $2.5 billion to help farmers fight climate change on the ground. The fund will help farmers adopt new technology and practices to cut emissions, increase sequestration of carbon, improve air, water and soil health, and invest in lower emission equipment.
- Cutting-Edge Pyrolysis Program – This new program would set aside $25 million to support ten pilot programs across the country which convert tree nut by-products into biocarbon products that can be reused.