U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and local climate leaders toured Brickstead Dairy — a fifth generation family owned farm — to celebrate federal investments in climate-smart agriculture that will benefit Wisconsin family farms here and across the nation.
The event highlighted the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which Senator Baldwin helped pass in the U.S. Senate. In a win for Wisconsinites, the IRA gives farmers assistance to deal with the impacts of climate change that they’re already feeling, including drought, extreme heat, and longer seasons that are making it increasingly difficult to time planting and harvest. The costs of these impacts are rising and they need federal climate-smart programs to bolster their bottom lines. New climate-smart investments from the IRA include:
- $20 billion to help farmers implement and expand climate-smart agricultural practices such as reducing methane and other potent greenhouse gasses, increasing storage of carbon in soil and trees, optimizing fertilizer use and expanding cover crops.
- $3.1 billion to support economically distressed farmers.
- An additional $2.2 billion to support farmers who have suffered historical discrimination from federal farm loan programs.
“I voted for the Inflation Reduction Act because it is helping our agriculture community address their challenges, cut costs, and create economic opportunity,” said Senator Baldwin. “I am proud to have helped secure $19.5 billion to help our hardworking farmers, ranchers, and producers adopt sustainable practices, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and increase efficiencies.”
In addition, the IRA includes $14 billion to lower costs of clean energy for families and support good-paying clean energy jobs in rural communities. This funding supports rural electric cooperatives in the transition to cleaner energy, which will dramatically cut climate pollution. It also helps rural communities, farmers, and small business owners invest in clean energy and be more energy efficient.
“The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act means that there are now billions of dollars available to support farmers in building climate resilience on their farms. It’s important that this funding be distributed to farmers and not be diverted for other purposes,” said Dan Brick, owner of Brickstead Dairy.
“Funding from the Inflation Reduction Act will help farmers implement and expand climate-smart agricultural practices, which makes living on farms healthier for farmers and their families. Planting cover crops is one example of how farmers are able to preserve nutrient rich soil, reduce agricultural runoff, keep pollution out of drinking water, and lessen the need for using chemicals in the next growing season,” said Abby Novinska Lois, the executive director of Healthy Climate Wisconsin.
“The Inflation Reduction Action is a seminal investment in our local communities and the environment. It is pivotal in safeguarding the rights of historically underprivileged farmers and communities, providing them access to secure and sustainable farming practices. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of lawmakers, particularly those like Senator Baldwin, climate-smart agriculture is set to play a key role in our pursuit of a future that is both equitable and sustainable for everyone,” said Alexander Malchow, the Wisconsin policy coordinator for Faith in Place.