SEEC Climate and Agriculture Task Force Meets with USDA Under Secretary Bonnie About Farm Bill and Climate Priorities

March 17, 2022
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today U.S. Representatives Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08) and Chellie Pingree (ME-01), co-chairs of the SEEC Climate and Agriculture Task Force, led a Task Force meeting with U.S Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Robert Bonnie about the upcoming Farm Bill and shared climate priorities.

 “Many of our farmers and forest landowners have already developed creative ideas about how to sequester carbon or reduce emissions to slow down the effects of climate change. It was important to hear from Under Secretary Bonnie about ways we can engage with producers on climate issues,” said Rep. Schrier, the only member on the House Agriculture Committee from the Northwest. “As we work on the 2023 Farm Bill and have additional conversations with stakeholders, I want to make sure that farmers have a seat at the table, especially when we are talking about climate solutions.”

 “Farmers are on the front lines of climate change. They’re ready to tackle this crisis, but it’s up to Congress to make sure they have the knowledge, tools, and resources to do so,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), who is a member of the House Agriculture Committee and House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture. “I appreciate the Biden administration’s commitment to helping farmers reduce their emissions, sequester more carbon, and increase their resilience in the face of a changing climate, and thank Under Secretary Bonnie for sharing his expertise with our Task Force as we look ahead to the 2023 Farm Bill.”

 “The Farm Bill is a powerful tool when it comes to addressing climate change and advancing voluntary conservation,” added Under Secretary Bonnie. “We know voluntary conservation works, and we are committed to working with farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, and partners to leverage our resources to increase climate resilience, enhance agricultural productivity, sequester more carbon, and maintain critical environmental benefits.”

The Task Force discussed a number of climate-related topics with Under Secretary Bonnie, including promoting the use of cover crops, preventing wildfires through smart forest management practices, more strategic use of soil amendments, and increasing resilience to floods, drought, pestilence, coastal erosion and sea level rise.

 The SEEC Climate and Agriculture Task Force includes Representatives Chellie Pingree, Kim Schrier, Earl Blumenauer, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Julia Brownley, Chrissy Houlahan, Jared Huffman, Doris Matsui, Jim McGovern, Annie Kuster, and Jimmy Pannetta.