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PNS Daily News - December 13, 2019 


Brexit wins at the polls in the U.K.; major changes come to New England immigration courts today; and more than a million acres in California have been cleared for oil and gas drilling.

2020Talks - December 13, 2013  


The House passes legislation to reign in drug prices, Sen. Bernie Sanders is on the upswing, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang plays Iowa congressional candidate J.D. Scholten - who's running against long-time incumbent Steve King - in a game of basketball.

Farmers, Ranchers Push for "Green New Deal" Policies

Scientists say regenerative farming practices that don't use synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides can help capture more carbon from the atmosphere and create healthier soil for crops. (Pixabay)
Scientists say regenerative farming practices that don't use synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides can help capture more carbon from the atmosphere and create healthier soil for crops. (Pixabay)
October 1, 2019

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Agriculture is the fourth-largest producer of climate pollution. Now farmers and ranchers from across the U.S. have launched a campaign urging Congress to pass a Green New Deal that supports regenerative family farming and ranching practices over industrial-scale agribusiness.

Katherine Paul, communications director with the group Regeneration International, said farmers across the political spectrum are seeing the proposal as an opportunity to level the playing field.

"The goals that are laid out in this Green New Deal are goals that we as farmers can help achieve in this country,” Paul said. “We can be the clean-water heroes, we can be the climate heroes, we can be the health heroes if we just get the policy and program support."

Paul noted that 85% of the nation's $25 billion farm subsidies go to the biggest 15% of businesses, which rely on factory farming, synthetic fertilizers, chemical pesticides and other practices linked to increased air and water pollution. She said supporting cleaner practices would produce healthier food and enrich soil by capturing more carbon.

Critics of the Green New Deal say it's too expensive and argue a better way to address climate change would be to encourage innovation in the private sector.

Paul said the Green New Deal is an opportunity to reinvest money we're already spending in innovative private family-scale farms. But she admitted change won't come easily. Agribusiness currently spends more than the defense industry lobbying Congress.

"And what they want is rarely good for small, independent farmers and ranchers who are interested in farming in a way that benefits everyone,” Paul observed.

To date, more than 10,000 farmers and ranchers have joined the campaign. The coalition's next steps include creating alliances with conservation and business groups. They also plan to invite lawmakers to come out and see the benefits of clean land use along with the economic challenges facing a growing number of the nation's family farms.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - WY