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Federal policy must support young and BIPOC farmers and ranchers leading the future of sustainable livestock management

On February 3rd, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture held a hearing on sustainability in the livestock sector. In a letter we sent to the Committee, we discussed the role the livestock industry can play in mitigating the impacts of climate change. Practices that sequester carbon in the soil and provide other ecosystem services to build on-farm climate resilience go hand in hand with sustainable livestock management.

Young farmers are innovative and are aligned toward sustainable practices, but they face a system that isn’t designed for them. As we spoke to in a previous post, consolidation in the livestock industry has led to a decline in small, independent processing facilities and producers, leaving many young and BIPOC farmers struggling to find options to bring their livestock to market, get a fair price for their product, and grow and expand their businesses. Federal policies at the intersection of livestock production and climate change must invest in equitable access to high quality farmland and community-led solutions to processing and distribution challenges. 

A sustainable livestock sector is critical for combating climate change, improving access to land, and preserving livestock management traditions. We look forward to working with you to find ways to make sure that young, beginning, and BIPOC farmers and ranchers are leading the future of sustainable livestock management. 

You can view the hearing here.