Ag Sustainability Efforts Shared with Legislators

October 3, 2019

UEP, working with approximately 20 national agricultural organizations through Farmers for a Sustainable Agricultural Future (FFSAF), has prepared Sustainability Principles for use with Congress as it prepares climate change legislative proposals. Two House Committees (Energy & Commerce, and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis) have asked all U.S. business sectors and interested organizations to submit answers to specific questions dealing with potential climate legislation and policies.   FFSAF decided to provide the committees with principles rather than specific answers, as those answers will vary greatly from group to group and commodity to commodity. FFSAF also prepared a “Sustainability and Climate Fact Sheet” to accompany the principles. UEP staff is reviewing the requests and formulating possible responses, specific to the egg industry, that also will be submitted to these House committees.

While both House Committees are approaching this phase of the process in the same manner, they will have different roles. The Energy and Commerce Committee has primary jurisdiction over climate issues in the House and is the committee that will prepare legislation for transmittal and consideration by the House. It plans to hold a series of hearings and stakeholder meetings, and they have invited “the broader stakeholder community – including experts from industry, government, academia, research organizations, and nonprofits – to provide input on key considerations for U.S. climate policy.”

The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis plays an informational and advisory role only. The Select Committee has received recommendations from numerous parties, and to supplement its ongoing work, it “is seeking additional detailed input from a broad range of stakeholders.”

The FFSAF’s Sustainability Principles are grounded in agriculture’s constant efforts to innovate and become more efficient, characteristics that have, and continue, to lead to great gains in environmental performance, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The principles emphasize that “farmers and ranchers are constantly searching for better ways of production. For decades, we have relied upon innovation by investing in practices and technology aimed at improving productivity, providing clean and renewable energy, and enhancing sustainability. These innovations have yielded an agricultural system in America that has a carbon footprint approximately three times smaller than total global emissions from farming.”

Please contact Tom Hebert ( if you have questions.