Today I am hopping on a plane to Japan but wanted to let you know what happened while I was in DC.
I decided I wanted to explore Strategy #2 Become a Citizen Lobbyist.
Influencing our congressional representatives seems to me to be a very mysterious and difficult thing. We are up against old narratives and well funded interest groups. Who in the Congress has some influence over the area of legislation that we want to have a voice in? What happens if that isn't my representative?
So I took my own advice and visited with Emily Wirzba at the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). The FCNL is working hard to build bi-partisan support for a Carbon Pricing Bill. To follow what FCNL is working on, I suggest you subscribe to their "Inside the Greenhouse" newsletter.
And then I joined the Citizen Climate Lobby (CCL).
I met with several climate activists that Emily suggested and then I scheduled a visit with the staff of my Congresswoman, Suzan DelBene. She is on the influential Ways and Means Committee. I intend to keep learning how to work with others to influence the conversation around regenerative agriculture.
#8 - Support Eco-System Restoration (and Regenerative Agriculture)
#4 - Tell a More Compelling Story
In my talk I share the video "One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts" about how Will Harris has made such an amazing impact on the economic health of his community by changing the way he raises cattle. Yesterday on NPR I heard this story about how Columbians are making similar changes and growing 5-7 times more cattle per acre with less impact on the environment. The narrative is beginning to change.
The narrative that "the more fertilizer you put on your crops the better yields you're going to get" is being proved wrong. If you have any farmer friends who are asking about the scientific tests for cover crops and reducing inputs, the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is featuring a very compelling video that reports on a multiple year/5-farmer test. "We're maintaining the same yields with less inputs, that's how we are saving our money. Our fertilizer costs are down a minimum of 80%. Not only are you becoming a better producer and eliminating a lot of your costs but you're doing it in a way that is friendlier to the environment."
"Soils are living dynamic ecosystems. These are the principles we need to apply:
1. Minimal disturbance of the soil - start with reducing tillage
2. Keep the soil covered
3. Keep a live root in the soil year round
4. Diversity, diversity, diversity - more than 15 species over a three-year period"
I truly believe that we are beginning to see the tipping point. Can we influence the decision makers who are developing the legislative strategies to implement climate friendly practices in the next Farm Bill that will be written five years from now?