SHELBYVILLE, Ind. — Senator Mike Braun met with farmers in Shelbyville Monday to discuss his agriculture bill that’s meant to fight climate change.
The Growing Climate Solutions Act is meant to encourage more farmers to engage in environmentally friendly practices.
According to Kendell Culp, director on the Indiana Soybean Alliance and American Soybean Board, many farmers are trying to incorporate farm practices that help the environment, but the cost of those measures is a factor they have to consider.
“Many times they are an added expense,” Culp said.
To help get those expenses covered for more farmers, Sen. Braun introduced the Growing Climate Solutions Act. It passed the U.S. Senate last week with bipartisan support on a 92-8 vote.
If it becomes law, it would make it easier for all farmers to access carbon credits, which are funds from private organizations that cover the costs of sustainable practices.
Many farmers do not know the credits exist or aren’t sure how to obtain them, according to Sen. Braun.
“You can take your good stewardship and hopefully parlay that into existing credits that are out there that mostly small farmers can’t take advantage of,” Sen. Braun said.
Farmers at the meeting said they believe this bill is beneficial to both agriculture and the environment since they feel it will encourage more farmers to engage in green practices.
“This is just kind of incentive for them to move forward and implement some of those conservation practices on their farm, which would obviously help the environment and make themselves more sustainable,” said Culp, who has a soybean and corn farm in Jasper County.
The bill would create a certification process for carbon credits through the USDA and set up a website to help farmers find them, Braun said.
“All in all, it’s a start, and it recognizes that agriculture could lead the way on a topic that gains more and more traction every month that I’m there,” Braun said of climate concerns.
The bill still has to pass the House before it would head to the president’s desk.