Farmers have bought into Biden’s climate program. Now comes the hard part.

Source: By Garrett Downs, Politico • Posted: Monday, August 7, 2023

President Joe Biden’s administration poured $3 billion into greening agriculture. Some climate advocates aren’t convinced it will help.

President Joe Biden’s Agriculture Department is pulling off a feat unimaginable a mere decade ago: gaining wide support within the conservative farming industry for a program to fight climate change.

The winning formula involves paying farmers to test out green practices, rather than forcing them to pay for excessive carbon emissions.

Biden officials are hoping their $3 billion initiative — which began doling out money this spring — will lay the groundwork for long-term buy-in for green farming from rural voters and American agribusiness, not to mention future investment from Congress and Wall Street. But they still need to prove it actually has an environmental impact and isn’t just a giveaway to Big Ag, as some climate activists fear.

Robert Bonnie, the Agriculture Department official who came up with the plan, acknowledges that it’s essentially a giant science experiment. But he insists it’s necessary to try to incentivize the industry to reduce its massive carbon footprint, which amounts to roughly 10 percent of the country’s emissions.