By Jaylen Cates, CFSA Policy Director | Monday, Feb. 26, 2023 –

The Agriculture Resiliency Act (ARA) is a proposal for a new law that could be added to the 2023 Farm Bill.

The ARA is meant to help farmers and ranchers deal with the challenges of climate change. Introduced in Congress in April 2021, the ARA is sponsored by Representative Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), alongside Senator Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico) and 16 other House Democrats.

The primary goal of ARA is to encourage sustainable agriculture practices to help farmers and ranchers mitigate and adapt to climate change. It recognizes the role of agriculture in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting biodiversity, and enhancing soil health.

ARA proposes increasing funding for several essential programs and initiatives, including research, technical assistance, and grants that support climate-smart agriculture. For example, the bill aims to boost the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which provides competitive grants to support research and education on sustainable farming practices. ARA would expand the Conservation Stewardship Program, which gives farmers and ranchers financial incentives to implement conservation practices.

The primary goal of ARA is to encourage sustainable agriculture practices to help farmers and ranchers mitigate and adapt to climate change.

ARA addresses other issues, such as food waste, regenerative agriculture, and rural development. For example, the bill calls for a study on the economic impacts of food waste in the United States. It proposes piloting a program to support regenerative agriculture practices on public lands. The bill also promotes rural development by investing in programs that improve infrastructure and provide access to broadband internet.

The marker bill emphasizes equity and justice, recognizing that historically marginalized communities have been disproportionately affected by climate change and lack access to resources. The ARA proposes prioritizing funding for programs and initiatives that support these communities.

The ARA has received support from various organizations, including the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. These organizations praise the bill’s focus on climate-smart agriculture and its recognition of the need for sustainable food systems that support the environment and farmers’ livelihoods.

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association supports the ARA and advocates for its full inclusion in the 2023 Farm Bill. The ARA has the potential to create a more resilient and sustainable food system that benefits both farmers and the environment by prioritizing funding for programs that support climate-smart agriculture and equity.

Want more? Check out our advocacy section to learn more about the farm bill and ways you can get involved to make this massive piece of legislation work for local food and small sustainable farms near you.