July 24, 2020

Joe Neguse’s Bipartisan Regenerative Agriculture Proposal Passes the House along with Interior Appropriations

The plan calls for the study and implementation of carbon sequestration solutions to help curb the climate crisis  

Washington D.C.—Congressman Joe Neguse’s bipartisan regenerative agriculture proposal has passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives along with appropriations legislation for the Departments of Agriculture. H.R. 7608, the FY 2021 Four-Bill Appropriations Minibus includes the text of Congressman Neguse’s Study on Improving Our Lands (SOIL) Act, a bipartisan bill which would require the Secretary of Interior to conduct a study on the state of soil health on Federal lands in the United States and provide a report on its findings 180 days after enactment. This study is required to include an analysis of the impact grazing, wildfire, recreation, and invasive species have on the soil; and recommendations for legislative or regulatory action to improve soil health, increase carbon sequestration, and improve community benefits of soil health programs on Federal lands.

“America’s farmers and ranchers can be active partners in solving the climate crisis by sequestering carbon in their soils and adopting climate stewardship practices,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “Many are already providing valuable climate and ecosystem benefits, including farmers in Boulder and Fort Collins who helped craft this proposal. Federal studies like those authorized in the SOIL Act will support scaling up these practices and sequester even more carbon in our soil. I’m proud that our proposal to study and implement smart carbon sequestration efforts was highlighted in the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis’ Congressional Action Plan and I’m excited that it is now being included in the House’s Agriculture Appropriations legislation.”

“Regenerative agriculture increases biodiversity, enriches the soil, purifies watersheds, and increases in-farm fertility, which can help farmers and ranchers save money by reducing input costs,” said Nick Levendofsky, Director of External Affairs at Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. “Farmers and ranchers also recognize the benefits of carbon sequestration, improved soil health and productivity, retention and build up of topsoil, and increased water filtration, all of which aid in addressing climate change. Rocky Mountain Farmers Union supports common-sense, forward-thinking legislation like Congressman Joe Neguse’s Study On Improving Our Lands (SOIL) Act, and we thank him for his leadership on this important issue. The SOIL Act ensures the current generation of America’s farmers and ranchers, plus the generations that follow, will remain the premier stewards of the land they farm and ranch.” 

The SOIL Act, introduced by Congressman Joe Neguse last August, is co-lead by Congressman John Curtis from Utah. Both the SOIL Act, and the Sustainable Agriculture Research Act, another bipartisan proposal led by Congressman Joe Neguse, were highlighted in the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis’ Congressional Action Plan. In establishing these proposals, Congressman Neguse toured the Golden Hoof Farm, McCauley Family Farm and worked with researchers at Colorado State University and University of Colorado Boulder, as well as Mad Ag, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and Young Farmers Coalition.