According to Nash, environmental activities and the push for plant-based diets are fueling anti-farm sentiment.
A dairy farmer in his fourth generation worries that potential climate efforts will endanger independent farmers and their capacity to feed the food supply in the United States.
Several governments have implemented laws on the agriculture sector, such as caps on nitrogen emissions, which have angered local farmers. The Biden administration has also stated that it intends to pressure the sector to make reforms to address climate change.
According to the EPA, the agriculture sector produced just 11% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2020, compared to 27% from transportation, 25% from energy, and 24% from industry.
In his inaugural speech to Congress, President Biden proposed the idea of paying farmers to produce cover crops, which are grown to cover the soil rather than be harvested in order to minimize carbon dioxide and enhance the health of the land. It also urged the Department of Agriculture to utilize agricultural aid money as a financial incentive to encourage farms to cut their carbon emissions.
The Securities and Exchange Commission most recently published a new ESG proposal in March that would mandate businesses to disclose the environmental effect of their operations. If implemented, large food producers would attempt to import animal products or purchase small farms in order to maintain their ESG rating, leaving American farmers and ranchers exposed.
Nash worries that efforts to enact green legislation throughout the world would further destroy a farming sector that is already failing due to rising labor, fuel, seed, and fertilizer prices. We are being alarmed by organizations like the World Economic Forum, which projects that by 2050, the world’s population would require 70% more food than is now consumed, and calls for a major restructuring of food production to satisfy that demand.
The 2025 Farm Bill, a piece of legislation that is usually approved every five years, is one to watch out for, according to Nash, since she thinks it will be used to give the EPA more access to and control over independent farmers.