Federal Officials Pushing New Climate Standards

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EAST LANSING, MI (WLNS) – President Obama came to Michigan State University a little over a year ago to sign the Farm Bill.

On Thursday a member of his cabinet was in East Lansing to lay out a new way for farmers to help fight climate change.

As 6 News Nick Perreault shows us it’s not a law, but it is a move that could save the government billions of dollars over time.

“Over the last decade there have been over 300 billion dollars in direct costs to the government due to extreme weather and fire alone,” said Brian Deese White, house senior advisor.

Costs that cut into farmers yields and pocket books. In the last year alone the U.S. Farmer Service Agency has written over $5 billion in checks to famers impacted by severe weather.

So White House adviser Brian Deese along with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced a multi-area approach to help increase efficiency in the agriculture industry.

“This is an ambitious, but voluntary strategy that rewards and incents and builds upon the good work that’s already being done by our farmers, ranchers and forest land owners,” said Tom Vilsack, U.S. Agriculture Secretary.

The USDA says using tools already in place they’re working to educate those working in the fields to the importance of promoting conservation tillage for soil.

Increasing use of wood as a building material and supporting rotational grazing of livestock among other areas to increase efficiency and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

“It not only gives them access to additional resources and assistance that they will need to reap the economic and environmental benefits that come from improving efficiency, increasing yields and reducing risk to operations.”

Again, these are voluntary efforts and won’t require additional money from congress–but help the secretary doesn’t think many farmers will pass up

“It’s a continuation of what they’ve been doing for years, it’s just setting a high bar and we’re going to work together to reach it.”

To make sure farmers and have those in the AG community have good yields and you have food on your table.

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