Growing 21st Century opportunity on the farm

Dear Editor:

With the everyday transformed by the stresses of a global pandemic and unknown still weighing heavy, it’s reassuring to see elected leaders in Washington plot out common-sense steps that prepare us for a more resilient national and state economy. It’s even more reassuring knowing Indiana’s own Republican Senator Mike Braun is at the forefront.

As a speaker at National Clean Energy Week last year he brought forth an entrepreneurial and business-forward approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This June, he partnered with Senator Lindsey Graham and two notable Democratic senators to introduce the Growing Climate Solutions Act—smart legislation that unleashes a symbiotic relationship between the country’s agriculture producers and corporate America.

The Growing Climate Solutions Act contributes to more farms, forests and businesses financial security by providing the tools to take advantage of a vibrant carbon credit market.

For one, the legislation creates a certification program for third-party technical providers, modeled off already successful national programs, as well as constructs a comprehensive digital resource for landowners to gain credible intel on how they can participate and begin generating carbon credits. By reducing the burdens of an onerous learning curve and make-shift guidelines, more farmers and foresters would have the option of adapting their business models to meet the growing demand of the private carbon market.

Agriculture already contributes an estimated $31.2 billion to Indiana’s economy, making us the eighth largest agricultural producer in the nation. Unfortunately, the industry—and the many independent and family farms that compose it—has long strained under instability; whether it be adjusting to capricious international buyers, upended supply chains amidst the pandemic’s quarantine or the general unpredictability of Mother Nature.

Increasing access to the carbon credit market allows more farmers the opportunity, to pivot their land and cultivation practices to meet the burgeoning need of corporations moving toward carbon neutral operations. When a storm could devastate an entire season’s yield, this extra revenue and stability could prove critical.

I’m proud that Senator Braun is leading on this market-based legislation that better prepares the nation and Indiana to meet the challenges as well as lucrative prospects of the 21st century economy. As we recover, step-by-step, I’m thankful for practical policymaking that is eager to envision a future of new opportunities and more fiscally hardy farming operations.

Jared Noblitt , Executive Director Indiana Conservative Energy Alliance

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