Agriculture and Climate

The Agricultural Industry is currently a net carbon and methane producer but with smart agricultural practices, agriculture, and production agricultur, Colorado can become net carbon and methane sinks. Increasingly agricultural policy and climate-smart practices are developed by partnering scientists and universities (like those at Colorado State) with our farming and ranching communities. These partnerships will turn agricultural industries in America and all over the world into net carbon sinks.

Agriculture is a vital economic driver for the communities of eastern Colorado. Farmers and ranchers need the support of a well-informed public as they continue to provide food for a global population which is expected to increase to nearly 10 billion by 2050. At the same time, farmers and ranchers in eastern Colorado battle infringements on water rights, and struggle to implement suggested soil health practices because of Colorado’s arid environment.

Climate change is the ultimate threat to our existence, and its first effect is the increasing scarcity of water, which is already at the center of conflict between rural and urban Coloradoans. In addition to water scarcity, farmers have been challenged by heat and cold extremes and increased severe weather.

We have to:

  • Support increased funding for soil conservation programs through the NRCS.

  • Increase funding for USDA research grants for practical ways to increase soil health and improve irrigation efficiency specifically in arid environments.

  • Continue to support young farmer programs and implement others that would allow younger generations of farmers to be trained by farmers with experience with the soil types, temperatures, and precipitation patterns of a specific geographical area.

  • Decrease the influence of giant corporations and their ability to dictate prices to farmers and control availability to consumers as is evidenced in the US beef market.

  • Support a comprehensive immigration policy that ensures an adequate supply of labor for agricultural operations.

  • Stabilize price points across the board.

  • Legislate that all future trade compacts include an analysis on what impacts the compact will have on the US agriculture sector.

  • Transition from 19th-century fossil fuel to sustainable, carbon-neutral energy.

  • We must shift subsidies and incentives to support the renewable energy sector and companies that demonstrate rapid transition.

  • Shift resources and incentives to support the renewable energy sector and small local farmers practicing regenerative agriculture.

  • Equitably tax and subsidize energy extraction and production industries including an offset tax on the carbon those industries produce.

When FDR fought for the original New Deal it was opposed by financial and industrial elites. It was called ‘socialism’ and considered an unwarranted government intrusion into the affairs of the ‘free-market’. But against the backdrop of the Great Depression FDR was able to implement the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). They put people back to work, modernized infrastructure, and built the foundations for a post-war economic boom. The New Deal did not undermine capitalism, it saved it.

We need to:

  • Implement federal legislation and programs to replace our crumbling infrastructure including smart water storage, distribution, and usage conservation techniques

  • Pass a federal jobs and public works bill to fully fund the Climate Conservation Corps and WPA to begin reforestation, habitat reclamation, and clean energy infrastructure development.

  • Use the Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Defense assets to directly combat the effects of increasingly frequent severe weather events while developing scalable carbon sequestration projects all over the globe.

  • Continue to expand the partnering of Universities, Scientists, and subject matter experts with ranching and farming communities to ensure climate smart production practices are developed and implemented while increasing yield and efficiency.

According to science, we have a decade to save our environment. We face extinction-level threats due to the exploitation of our natural resources and generations of inaction and neglect. We have the knowledge, means, and resources to lead the world on the critical mission to change our relationships with nature and one another and to save ourselves and the planet.
Paid for by McCorkle for Congress
(720) 675-2753
PO Box 6664, Longmont, CO 80501