Animal agriculture and crop production have frequently been the target of climate change discussions and blame. Agriculture needs to be seen as a solution to climate change, instead of being named the problem.
Using innovative farm equipment, better seeds, green energy and climate-smart practices, U.S. farmers and ranchers are producing more food, renewable fuel and fiber than ever before, while using less water, protecting against erosion and conserving more soil, avoiding nutrient loss, increasing wildlife habitat and improving biodiversity.
Farmers are often forced to bear the brunt of climate change initiatives at their own expense, while only being responsible for two percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland. Farmers envision even greater success in providing societal benefits such as carbon sequestration and other environment-positive practices, but they can’t tackle this alone.
A bill in the 2019 legislative session aimed to require the State Department of General Services (DGS) to develop a list of carbon-intensive foods and best practices for reducing the amount purchased by state agencies and universities. The bill was withdrawn and moved to a summer study.
In July 2019, the summer study committee released a draft list of carbon-intensive foods, which included all land and water-based animal agriculture. The committee was shut down shortly after releasing the list due to a lack of scientific data and a devastating economic impact.
Maryland Farm Bureau believes state policies and regulations imposed on the farming community should be based on economically-sound and scientifically-proven peer-reviewed research to ensure a strong and viable farming sector in Maryland. We support the inclusion of the farming community in the formulation of these policies and regulations at all levels of government.
Video: 30 Harvests
Animal Agriculture Sustainability Impact Report
Farmers for a Sustainable Future
The Power of Resiliency in Agriculture’s Ecosystem Services
MDE 40 by 30 Plan Draft
MDE Greenhouse Gas Reductions Act Draft
MDE Climate Change Program
MDE Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory