Representative Josh Harder (CA-9) recently reintroduced his Future of Agricultural Resiliency and Modernization (FARM) Act to help farmers in the Central Valley and across the country work more efficiently while combating climate change. The bill would establish two new climate-focused initiatives to support the efforts of farmers to implement climate-friendly farming methods and technologies.
Of the two new climate-focused investments, the first would provide $2.5 billion in funding to help farmers reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration, improve air, water, and soil quality, and convert agriculture by-products to efficient uses. The second would establish a first-of-its-kind pyrolysis grant program to help tree nut farmers convert by-products into climate-friendly biocarbon products.
“Farmers and our agriculture industry as a whole are often treated like villains when it comes to climate change, but that just isn’t the truth. I’ve talked to farmers who would love to be on the cutting edge of climate-friendly farming – we just need to get them the tools to get there,” said Rep. Harder. “Anyone who has tried to find climate solutions that can earn the support of both the agriculture and environmental communities knows how difficult it is, which is why I’m so proud of this bill. We can finally stop the finger-pointing and start getting to the real solutions. We’re all affected by climate change – let’s work together to protect our planet for future generations.”
Specifically, the bill establishes two new climate-smart agriculture programs designed to lower costs for farmers.
The FARM Fund - This program creates a brand-new fund worth $2.5 billion to help farmers fight climate change on the ground. The fund will help farmers adopt new technology and practices to cut emissions, increase carbon sequestration, improve air, water and soil health, and invest in lower-emission equipment.
Cutting-Edge Pyrolysis Program – This new program would set aside $25 million to support ten pilot programs across the country which convert tree nut byproducts into biocarbon products that can be reused.
Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, said: “Dairy farmers continue to pursue new and innovative approaches to environmental stewardship, ranging from methane digesters and nutrient recovery systems that produce on-farm biogas and improve water quality to animal feed ingredients that can significantly reduce enteric methane emissions. We are grateful to Rep. Josh Harder for proposing the FARM Act, which provides much needed funding to help producers access the tools and systems they need. His efforts will help dairy farmers in California and nationwide as they continue to be sustainability leaders.”
The pilot programs to convert almond byproducts into reusable biocarbon products is supported by the Almond Alliance.
“Through pyrolysis, a cutting-edge process that involves high-temperature heating in the absence of oxygen, these innovative initiatives contribute to California's almond growers’ commitment to maximizing the potential of every harvest,” said Aubrey Bettencourt, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Almond Alliance. “We extend our gratitude to Congressman Harder for championing the development of climate-friendly biocarbon and biofuel products, showcasing his dedication to sustainable innovations.”