Comments needed on climate-smart agriculture

Way back in January, President Biden issued the executive order on “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.” Included in this order was a directive to USDA to collect stakeholder input for the purpose of creating a climate-smart agriculture and forestry plan. USDA is dutifully following through and is now asking for your help. USDA is soliciting comments from you, the American public, about how such a plan should be developed. This is not the way things are usually done! This is a unique change to be part of shaping law and policy from the ground up. Usually the agency will create the law (or administrative rule to be very technical) and then ask the public for comments. The rule may be changed and tweaked but it usually doesn’t differ a whole lot from where it started.

In this case, USDA is asking Americans for input before the rule is even created, which means that instead of just deciding the color of the paint or whether to have shag carpet or tile, you get to decide if you want a ranch house or a mansion, and maybe even whether you want it to be in Baltimore or Buenos Aires! This is a golden opportunity to help create the future that you want.

USDA is especially interested in hearing how it can encourage the voluntary adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices on working farms and ranches. USDA also wants to know how it can effectively ensure that environmental justice is achieved and that all landowners, communities and producers have access to the financing, technical assistance and other tools needed to implement climate-smart agriculture.

Comments will be received until 11:59p.m. Eastern Time on April 29th. For more information including how to submit comments, see the Federal Register here.