NIHC Responds to USDA’s Request for Comments on Climate Smart Ag  

The National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) this week submitted official comments to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USA) request for stakeholder feedback on developing climate smart agriculture practices and ways these practices can meet the needs of disadvantaged communities around the country.

“USDA is committed to addressing climate change through actions that are farmer, rancher, and forest landowner-focused and that create new market opportunities for the sector in a fair and equitable way,” said Vilsack at the time of release requesting comments. “We want your ideas on how to position the agriculture and forestry sectors to be leaders on climate smart practices to mitigate climate change. This includes making the most of USDA programs, developing new USDA-led climate strategies, strengthening existing markets and developing new markets that generate income.”

The NIHC provided detailed input in three areas the Secretary asked for and provided suggestions about how to better use existing USDA programs to address climate change through the U.S. domestic hemp industry. The three areas that NIHC provided information on include: climate-smart agriculture and forestry; biofuels, bioproducts, and renewable energy; and meeting the needs of disadvantaged communities through USDA’s climate strategy.

“NIHC is proud to represent the U.S. domestic hemp industry through our position as a government partner through USDA’s Market Access Program and serving on the Secretary’s technical advisory committees,” said NIHC Board Chair Patrick Atagi. “NIHC understands the USDA; it’s programs; how they work and our comments are a continuation of the constructive dialogue we’ve been having all year with USDA and the Biden Administration about how to make progress is reducing climate change.

To read the NIHC’s comments in full, please click here.

“Hemp is such an amazingly versatile commodity and when included in the appropriate framework of USDA’s programs, can really be the gold standard for climate smart agriculture,” Atagi concluded.