Farmers and ranchers have been utilizing climate smart strategies for decades to reduce emissions, sequester carbon and improve resiliency. Leading up to Earth Day on April 22, NASDA is focusing on how state departments of agriculture support farmers and ranchers as they continue to adopt climate smart practices.
What does it take to have an agriculture and food industry resilient against climate change? Climate resiliency for agriculture means ensuring farmers and ranchers have support in the short term to prepare for major weather events and investing in their ability to continually adopt practices that enhance our natural resources over the long term – all the while sustaining our robust food supply.
To build climate resiliency state departments of agriculture help farmers address issues including:
- Conservation – The preservation of natural resources, including wildlife, forests and minerals, is a vital part of climate resiliency. NASDA supports and promotes conservation practices, with a specific focus on working land programs, in agriculture to preserve environmental quality.
- Water quality – Effective water management practices is essential for farms and ranches in addition to protecting our nation’s waterways for wildlife and livestock. Managing water sources promotes healthy crops and livestock and preserves our natural resources.
- Endangered species – NASDA supports the protection of threatened and endangered species and allowing for a balance between economical agricultural production and species conservation.
- Soil health – Soil health and nutrient management is a crucial part of agricultural production and climate resiliency. Promoting soil health and climate smart agriculture contributes to a healthy climate and productive agriculture.
This month and every month, NASDA will promote state agriculture departments’ important work in implementing climate-smart programs and supporting farmers using climate-smart practices.