Senator Mike Braun met with farmers to discuss the Growing Climate Solutions Act today.
The Indiana Republican is co-sponsor of the legislation that passed the senate by a 92-8 vote on Thursday.
“Indiana farmers and farmers across the nation can take their good stewardship and parlay that into existing (carbon) credits that most small farmers can’t take advantage of,” he says. “Larger landowners have the resources to capture those credits currently. This legislation uses the familiar portal of our Farm Service Agency where you can get your ground certified and have folks come in and verify what your current carbon footprint is. The legislation is available for tree farmers and row crops, establishes an advisory council, and is a good start for the agriculture industry.”
Braun spoke with his agriculture advisory council at Fischer Inc. in Shelbyville.
“There’s nothing better than having an array of farmers and businesses related to agriculture to stay on top of what I do know a little bit about, but to have this group to learn more about what’s important across the spectrum,” he says. “We meet at least a couple of times a year.”
Kevin Cox, an Indiana Soybean Alliance board member, grows corn and soybeans in west central Indiana.
“Agriculture is going to be hugely impacted by this and so to be on the front side of it and to be in a position that we can help direct that conversation and how that policy is going to go is very valuable to us,” he says.
Phil Ramsey, a central Indiana farmer and American Soybean Association board member, says the legislation will provide some transparency for farmers.
“A lot of different companies are wanting to sign farmers up for different carbon programs and you’re not sure whether or not they’re beneficial, so we need something to pull that together and we definitely need to make sure these programs stay voluntary,” he says.
Northwestern Indiana farmer Kendell Culp, a board member for the American Soybean Association and Indian Soybean Alliance, says the legislation will help growers access carbon markets.
“So many of us have adopted conservation practices, but we’re not being directly compensated for those and this will really change where we can actually be compensated for those practices on our farms,” he says “We look forward to hopefully getting this bill over the finish line and putting some of those into practice.”
Cox, Ramsey, and Culp serve on the senator’s advisory council.
The Growing Climate Solutions Act will now go to the U.S. House.