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Sowing soybeans and good environmental policy: Letter

Sowing soybeans and good environmental policy: Letter

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As planting season 2021 begins this month, sustainability remains top of mind among Iowa farmers. This is nothing new, of course. We’ve proudly adopted cover crops and filter strips to lessen nutrient runoff and enhance the soil quality on our operation for generations to come.

Iowa is fortunate to have champions of agriculture, like Senators Grassley and Ernst, representing our interests in the United States Senate.

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A terrific illustration of that results-oriented sensibility is their support of the Growing Climate Solutions Act (GCSA), a proposal that seeks to address and enhance the economic and environmental sustainability of our farmers.

In short, this legislation would expand access to carbon credit markets that many farmers may already participate in, by providing key resources, such as a certification program within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). These preexisting, voluntary markets allow companies and other entities to purchase carbon credits from producers who practice sustainable carbon sequestering practices.

The goal is for farm families to have access to new streams of revenue that financially rewards them for taking practical steps to improve the land they farm and in turn improve the air we all breathe.

While we are not seeing the kind of bipartisanship in Washington we sorely need right now, this legislation represents commonsense policy that can benefit our rural communities and our urban friends and neighbors equally. I encourage other members of Iowa’s congressional delegation in the House to join their colleagues in the Senate in support of this legislation.

While we have work to do, Agriculture is focused on the long-term sustainability of our farms. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made and the opportunities to increase the economic viability of our operations while enhancing our environment.

April Hemmes, Franklin County farmer

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