September 13, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laura Zaks
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Comment: NSAC Responds to House Agriculture Committee FY22 Budget Reconciliation Markup
Washington, DC, September 13, 2021 – In response to the markup and approval of the House Agriculture Committee’s portion of the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package today, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) issued the following comment, attributable to Eric Deeble, Policy Director:
“The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) commends the House Agriculture Committee for strong investments in sustainable agriculture research, extension, education, rural development, and urban agriculture programs. This is an important first step in what represents a once in a generation opportunity to invest in addressing the climate crisis.
NSAC is particularly pleased to see $500 million provided to the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE), as well as investments for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) at $200 million. SARE’s farmer-driven research program empowers producers to develop and share innovations with their peers for improving soil health, sequestering carbon, and mitigating the impact of climate change.
While we are heartened to see this overall investment in agriculture, forestry, and rural development programs, it is important to remember that the already-passed CARES Act and the pending bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act both include harmful extensions to mandatory sequestration cuts to farm programs. This means future agriculture investments have already been cut, with particular damage done to working lands conservation programs. Considering these ongoing cuts and the importance of agriculture’s role in mitigating climate change, NSAC calls on Congress to hold the line and ensure the final reconciliation package includes the full sum of agriculture investments recommended by the Budget Committees.
Unfortunately, because the conservation title of the package has not yet been released to the public, we do not know whether the majority of those resources are dedicated to proactive, long-term programs needed to address climate change, mitigate future disasters, and build more resilient regional food systems. As the budget reconciliation package moves forward, it should provide the kind of investments that are essential to addressing the challenge of our times and to ensuring American agriculture can meet the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. As attention turns to the Senate, NSAC hopes to see a strong commitment to programs that support farmers in addressing the long-term challenges related to climate change.”
About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more: https://sustainableagriculture.net/