WASHINGTON, DC, US — USA Rice recently became a steering committee member of the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA), a coalition of ag commodity producers, state governments, and environmental groups formed to help guide the development of federal climate legislation.

“We believe federal policy can and should provide incentives and support for farmers and the ag industry as they tackle challenges related to climate change,” said Betsy Ward, president and chief executive officer of USA Rice. “The US rice industry has an historic, well-documented tradition of environmental stewardship and being on the steering committee of FACA gives USA Rice a seat at the table for this critical dialogue.”

The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA) was formed in February 2020 to provide policy recommendations built on three main principles: development of voluntary, incentive-based programs and market-driven opportunities; promotion of resilience and adaptation in rural communities; and an emphasis on science-based solutions.

Initial policy recommendations FACA introduced last fall covered six areas, including soil health, livestock and dairy, forests and wood products, energy, research, and food loss and waste. FACA’s policy working groups are producing more detailed and specific proposals focusing on the carbon bank concept, tax credits and other incentives, as well as climate research.

“These issues are not new to the rice industry,” Ward said. “Our reputation with legislators and administrators at the local, state, and federal level is one of innovation and cooperation. They expect us to come up with realistic, workable solutions, and FACA gives us another venue to advance our positive environmental and stewardship record and ensure that any climate legislation will complement and enhance rice initiatives.”