A July 9 column by Ron Roeber in the Independent claims that the New Innovation Initiative for USDA and the 30x30 plan are very similar. It claims that the initiative would cut the environmental footprint of U.S. agriculture in half by the year 2050. Other than that, few details are given about the initiative aside from the “radical goal” of conserving sensitive and marginal lands to enhance carbon sinks. Given only these details, you would be right to question why Gov. Pete Ricketts did not have the same reaction to this plan as the 30x30 plan.
I would now like you to see what the New Innovation Initiative is, straight from the USDA. Its statement at the time: “U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the Agriculture Innovation Agenda, a department-wide initiative to align resources, programs, and research to position American agriculture to better meet future global demands. Specifically, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will stimulate innovation so that American agriculture can achieve the goal of increasing production by 40 percent while cutting the environmental footprint of U.S. agriculture in half by 2050.”
The truth is that Secretary Perdue’s initiative was focused on agriculture. It was focused on increasing agricultural production by working with producers to improve efficiency. It was focused on innovation and research to help agriculture meet future productivity and environmental goals. It focused on reforestation and forest management to help prevent wildfires. The Agriculture Innovation Agenda promoted renewable fuels and increased demand for biofuels and biomass. This agenda outlined how agriculture is part of the climate solution.
The 30x30 plan does not address agriculture’s role in the future and provides too few details to be trusted. Just because they are taking input does not mean they will listen to it. The bottom line is, the current administration is radical and far left leaning. The final iteration of this plan will reflect that. Gov. Ricketts is simply looking out for our land. Nebraskans know how to take care of it best.