Pepie RTSA

Farmers and academics at a hearing for members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee spoke out in support of regenerative agriculture farming practices in the upcoming farm bill to protect topsoil and steward our waterways.

U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chair David Scott said he held the hearing Wednesday to discuss ways policymakers and the Department of Agriculture could help farmers incorporate regenerative agriculture practices. That investment in soil health would decelerate climate change and prevent a food shortage, the Georgia Democrat said. 

Regenerative agriculture occurs in farming and grazing practices that focus on rebuilding organic matter in topsoil, restoring degraded soil biodiversity, and importantly for Lake Pepin, stabilizing soils and storing water. All of these mitigate climate change by growing plants that capture carbon dioxide and move it into the soil. 

Water-focused nonprofits in the Midwest are urging lawmakers to consider bolstering education and technical assistance to farmers wanting to start using those practices, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program from the USDA. Small farmers can’t always take on the risks that large farms can when adopting new practices, at present crop insurance policies create disincentives for American farmers seeking to transition and operate under a regenerative organic model. The Farm Bill has an opportunity to facilitate this transition by giving farmers who implement these practices the biggest share of federal subsidiary benefits. LPLA urges lawmakers to bolster crop insurance to help reduce the risk farmers have when implementing regenerative farming practices. 

Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance (LPLA) advocates for upstream sediment reduction and local lake management to improve water quality, habitat, and accessibility in this vital stretch of the Mississippi River. For more information, including full blog posts, subscribe to our newsletter: www.lakepepinlegacyalliance.org/newsletter.

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