Unfortunately, we can’t eat our way out of climate change. It is clearly not possible. While farming and food production contributes to overall climate emissions, we can’t simply stop eating! What we can do is work hard to make all food production even more sustainable. That is exactly what California farmers, ranchers, and food producers are doing.
Despite ongoing efforts by farmers and ranchers to improve the carbon and environmental footprints of food production, some anti-farming activists continue to attempt to dictate farming methods and consumer food choices. However, if we have learned anything in the past few difficult years, people don’t want to be told what to do, let alone what to eat. . . or what they can’t eat.
Food is cultural. Food is part of our ethnic backgrounds and family traditions. Food is also comforting to many. The reality is plant and animal-based foods have been part of our diet for centuries and will be for centuries to come. We simply cannot feed a growing national and global population without animal and plant-based foods.
Climate change increasingly touches every aspect of modern life. What we drive, how we heat and cool our homes, and what we manufacture, use and eat all contribute to global warming. Like other major sectors of California’s economy, farming and food production produces greenhouse gases.
For perspective, agriculture accounts for about 8 percent of California’s overall greenhouse gas emissions, trailing industrial, transportation, and energy sector emissions which collectively account for 80 percent. Mitigating agriculture’s contribution, along with all other sectors, remains essential to achieving California’s ambitious climate goals. California’s farming and ranching families take climate change seriously. Our farm families recognize the importance of doing our part to enhance food security and make all food production more sustainable.
Enter the Climate Smart Agricultural Partnership.
Working with local, regional, and state officials and organizations, we aim to:
Our mission is to advance climate-smart agricultural practices as we continue to feed the world and protect the planet. Enhanced food security will be critical as global food production will need to dramatically increase in coming decades to feed a growing world population impacted by climate change.
In California, climate-smart agriculture isn’t just a concept. . . it is happening.
Farmers up and down the state are actively cutting greenhouse gas emissions, increasing yields, improving water use efficiency, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and improving soil health. Farms and ranches are rapidly adopting on-farm practices that protect natural resources and habitat while adapting to climate change.
Following are just a few of the practices and efforts we will be sharing in the coming months:
As part of our partnership with the state, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) provides several incentive programs to encourage climate- and planet-smart farming practices. These important programs include the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP), Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) and Healthy Soils Program. CDFA’s latest report documents just how effective these programs have been in improving resiliency and helping to achieve the state’s ambitious climate goals.
We look forward to expanding on programs and partnerships like these as we continue our mission of advancing climate-smart agricultural practices. We are feeding the world and protecting the planet.