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North Dakota Farmers Represented in Copenhagen

December 15, 2009

JAMESTOWN, N.D. - The big United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen is moving into its final phase as it prepares to wind up at the end of this week. Among those taking part is North Dakota Farmers Union president Robert Carlson, who is there representing the International Federation of Agricultural Producers. Speaking from Denmark, Carlson says agriculture will play a key role in helping mitigation of greenhouse gases through no-till farming, planting grass and trees, and manure management.

"Agriculture will actually benefit economically from cleaning up the atmosphere, but that is going to take a little transition time to do. I think university studies show it will be 2012 and beyond before agriculture will really benefit."

Carlson says he will be making a presentation at the conference today, but the address by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Saturday helped show the important role of American farmers in dealing with climate change.

"I think it lifted the visibility of agriculture at this conference considerably and, quite frankly, agriculture's visibility hasn't been real high here. There are lots and lots and lots of other sectors that get more publicity than does agriculture. "

Some 15,000 leaders and delegates from 192 countries, including President Barack Obama, are attending the event, which is due to end on Friday.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - ND