What is the Farmer Letter on Climate Change Solutions in Agriculture? Who is behind the Farmer Letter?
The Farmer Letter on Climate Change Solutions in Agriculture came out of concerns of farmers and advocates active with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). Farmers and ranchers are on the front lines of the climate crisis, and they have real solutions to offer to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve carbon sinks and adapt to greater weather extremes – but resources are needed. The letter will be sent to Congressional members and leaders with USDA in the summer of 2020 to lift up farmer voices in the national conversations about the climate crisis and what is needed to address these issues. Member organizations of NSAC will circulate the Farmer Letter for sign-on now through the summer of 2020.
Why do this now?
Recent extreme weather events – floods in the Midwest, fires in the West, hurricanes in the South, droughts throughout the country – have intensified as temperatures have risen. The climate crisis puts many communities at risk, but especially farmers and ranchers and frontline communities directly in the path of damaging climate change impacts.
Who can sign on to the Farmer Letter?
Farmers and ranchers can sign on to the Farmer Letter as individuals. We ask that farm organizations and other allied groups help with distributing the letter to farmers in their region, but do not sign on themselves. NSAC will have future opportunities for those groups and for individuals who are not farmers to show their support for the farmers and ranchers signed on to the Farmer Letter! At this time, only farmers and ranchers should sign on to the Farmer Letter.
Is the Farmer Letter intended to endorse specific policies?
No, we are not endorsing specific policy proposals with this letter. Instead, the Farmer Letter broadly calls for investments in agricultural solutions to the climate crisis, including soil health, farmland conservation, on-farm renewable energy, sustainable livestock production and more.
There are other letters on agriculture and climate change, the Green New Deal and more. How does this Farmer Letter relate to those efforts?
This is a letter organized by the members of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. It is intended to lift up the voices of farmers and ranchers to speak about the impact of a changing climate on their communities, the solutions agriculture has to offer and the need for investment in those solutions. Signing on to this letter, which is intentionally broad and focused on farmers’ needs, can be complementary to other organizing efforts happening nationwide, including some that may endorse specific bills or policies.
Can you sign on to multiple letters?
What are the next steps for the Farmer Letter?
NSAC member groups will deliver the final letter to members of Congress, USDA and other national leaders in the spring of 2020.
Is there a Spanish version of the Farmer Letter?
Yes, you can find it here: http://bit.ly/farmerclimateespanol
How can farmers and ranchers in my region sign-on?
They can sign on here: http://bit.ly/farmerclimateletter
If I have farmers in my area who have signed on to the Farmer Letter on paper (via a clipboard, for example) what do I do with those signatures?
You can add those names electronically here or you can mail the sign-ons to NSAC: 110 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 209 Washington DC 20002.
What happens to the names on this letter?
Email addresses will not be shared, sold, or made public as part of this effort. Farmers and ranchers who sign this letter will only be contacted about updates specific to this letter. We will share the names and farm business names (not contact information) of signatories with members of Congress in spring 2020.
If I have additional questions, who can I contact?
Please feel free to contact the following NSAC member groups who are helping to coordinate this effort:
Jeanne Merrill, CA Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN), California: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tara Ritter, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), Minnesota: email@example.com
Jim Worstell, Delta Land & Community, Arkansas: firstname.lastname@example.org
or NSAC staff:
Nichelle Harriott: email@example.com