FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lytisha Wyatt, National Young Farmers Coalition
Washington, D.C. (October 1st, 2021) – The National Young Farmers Coalition (Young Farmers) commends Congress, and especially the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, for their proposed investments in the current reconciliation package to help farmers, including young and BIPOC farmers, and to tackle the climate crisis. We are particularly pleased to see the inclusion of $255 million to address land loss and improve land access. Land access is the largest barrier young farmers face and a precursor to this new generation’s ability to sequester carbon and play a role in mitigating climate change. Young Farmers urges Congress to take up consideration of this important funding as soon as possible.
“To build a food system that is resilient enough to feed us in a changing climate, we must dramatically increase public investments in sustainable farming and farming communities–including those who have been, and continue to be, underserved by U.S. farm policy.” says Sophie Ackoff, Co-Executive Director of Young Farmers. “It is vital that we do not miss this moment to both combat the climate crisis, invest in the next generation of farmers and ranchers, and pursue all options to create a fair, humane, and functional immigration system.”
Young Farmers applauds the inclusion of $28 billion for climate-smart agriculture in conservation programs, critical new funding for research and rural development, and $4.5 billion for the Civilian Conservation Corps, a new program that will mobilize the next generation of conservationists and advance important on-the-ground climate goals.
We urge members of Congress to protect the $10 billion for debt relief to stabilize the operations of producers who have not received a fair share of aid from recent federal support programs. This funding for economically distressed farming operations is essential as we seek to protect the land tenure of farmers and use their skills and knowledge in the fight against climate change.
“Young farmers and ranchers are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. They acknowledge the necessity of concerted climate action and are committing their energy and their farms to form part of our national response to this emergency. The reconciliation package is investing in our young farmers and ranchers, land stewards and future ones to make land the foundation of our planetary health,” said Vanessa Garcia Polanco, Federal Policy Director at Young Farmers.
The National Young Farmers Coalition (Young Farmers) is a national grassroots network of young farmers fighting for a brighter, more equitable future for U.S. agriculture. Visit Young Farmers on the web at www.youngfarmers.org, and on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.