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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Colleges see big drop in foreign-language enrollment; Kentucky advocates say it's time to bury medical debt; Young Farmers in Michigan hope the new farm bill will include key benefits regarding land access.

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The White House presses for supplemental Ukraine aid. Leaders condemn antisemitic attacks during Gaza ceasefire protests. Despite concerns about the next election, one Arizona legal expert says courts generally side with voters and democracy.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

A KY Push for Regenerative Farming in Next Farm Bill

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Tuesday, August 1, 2023   

People's wallets continue to feel the impact of high food prices, and local environmental groups say sustainable food systems and regenerative farming are solutions that deserve support in the next Farm Bill. Lawmakers are currently at work shaping the legislation to replace the current Farm Bill, enacted in 2018 and set to expire this fall.

Hank Grady, a member of the Sierra Club Kentucky Chapter, explained relative to many other states, Kentucky is home to a large number of farmers working on more than 75,000 farms across the state, and said many producers are looking to transition away from the industrial farming model.

"We believe that in the short run and the long run, this will provide a better alternative and a healthier product than the industrial alternative," he continued.

According to the Sierra Club, certain soils also are effective at capturing carbon, but excessive tillage, overgrazing, erosion and overuse use of fertilizers in industrial farming have depleted their ability to reduce greenhouse gases and lessen the impact of climate change.

Grady said efforts to improve water quality have largely been left out of industrial agriculture, and added while the state's Agriculture Water Quality Authority is an innovative program, it has not gone far enough to help implement sustainable practices that keep local waterways pollution-free and provide healthy food.

"We would like to see it amended, so it not only attempts to protect water quality in Kentucky from agricultural pollution, but also protects soil and helps farmers build a healthier soil system - one that is not heavily reliant on chemicals and monoculture," he said.

According to the CDC, concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOS, poorly managed application of pesticides, irrigation water, fertilizer, overgrazing and overworking the land can all result in contaminated waterways.

Disclosure: Sierra Club contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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