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NATIONAL YOUNG FARMERS COALITION

Latest from Young Farmers

RELEASE: Young Farmers joins a global coalition calling to integrate a food systems approach at COP28

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Jessica Manly, Communications Director
National Young Farmers Coalition
press@youngfarmers.org, 518-643-3564


Washington, D.C.
 (November 29, 2023) The National Young Farmers Coalition (Young Farmers) joins a global coalition calling to reinforce the urgency of integrating a food systems approach within the United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties (COP28) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Our food systems are a critical lever to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement and build a sustainable, equitable, and resilient future that enables people and nature to prosper. Young farmers are leaders at the forefront of the climate crisis and are driving attention to the need for climate action globally as well as in the U.S. Young farmers are experiencing the impacts of climate change every day, and are highly motivated to address this challenge on their farms and ranches, as food systems account for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Secure land access is the primary barrier keeping young farmers from leading climate solutions. Capital and labor that could be deployed to build climate resilience are instead sunk in land rents creating insecure land tenure that prevents long-term investments in climate change mitigation.

We hope governments around the world will make a political statement and investments that acknowledge the important role of food systems in the climate agenda. The final outcomes of COP28 must include a clear way forward to spur ambitious food systems transformation nationally, one that recognizes that farmers are climate leaders and face significant barriers to climate action.

We urge negotiators from the U.S. and other nations to consider the opportunities offered by fully integrating actions across food systems, especially in land access and on-farm conservation, in the UNFCCC, and to rapidly shift to national implementation. COP28 is a critical stepping stone to invest in both the infrastructure and the people on the frontlines of climate action. We urge our negotiators, congressional delegation, and U.S. stakeholders to champion land access for young farmers and conservation tools within the Sharm el-Sheikh Joint Work on Implementation of Climate Action on Agriculture and Food Security (SSJW).

As the United States Congress is writing the next Farm bill, Young Farmers is calling on legislators to invest in conservation programs and land access resources so the next generation of U.S. farmers can take on climate action.

Young Farmers is working with Congress on a number of proposals to address these challenges. We have delivered letters to Congress alongside 300 partners in support of the following proposals:

  • Funding for equitable land access
    • Authorize $100 million in annual funding through the 2023 Farm Bill for community-led farmland access, retention, and transition projects.
    • Funding from this legislation would be available to a wide variety of entities, such as tribes, municipalities, non-profits, and cooperatives.
    • Projects would provide direct access to funding for producers and serve the needs of farmers and ranchers who have been most marginalized from accessing federal resources.
  • Conservation funding for small farmers and farmers of color
    • Create a small farm subprogram within the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) flagship conservation program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program
    • Train and hire USDA staff to work directly with small, diversified farm and ranch operations
    • Increase incentives for soil health and small farms to apply to conservation programs
  • Investment in farmer-led climate change education
    • Use a USDA funding mechanism to invest in farmer-to-farmer conservation education

 

The Global Sommet International des Jeunes Agriculteurs (International Young Farmers Summit) (SIJA) recently announced that 2024 will be the “Year of Young Farmers in the Face of Climate Change.” We invite all governments, especially the United States, to invest in tools for climate action for young farmers.

* * *

The National Young Farmers Coalition (Young Farmers) is a national grassroots network of young farmers changing policy and shifting power to equitably resource the new generation of working farmers. Visit Young Farmers on the web at www.youngfarmers.org, and on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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