WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2013 – Agriculture leaders who met yesterday with Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill said they’re already feeling the effects of climate change – and hoping to work with Congress to mitigate them.

“We thought we’d have a record (corn) crop in 2013…but we’re clearly facing a lot of extremes in weather,” said Rick Tolman, CEO of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) in a press conference after the meeting. “Clearly, [farmers] know there is climate-change.”

Roger Johnson, president of National Farmers Union, stressed that farmers want the flexibility and support to address the climate phenomenon as they see fit – without intense governmental regulation.

“Let’s put more money into research and development,” he said.

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., reported that the meetings had covered a variety of topics.

“We talked a lot about issues of water use,” he said. “We talked about fuel standards and importance of going to cellulosic ethanol (and) how important it is that we incentivize cellulosic and other biofuels.”

Other meeting participants included Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Tom Buis of Growth Energy, Ernie Shea of the 25x’25 Alliance and William Hohenstein of USDA’s Climate Change Program office.

Both Waxman and Whitehouse are founding members of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, which got its start in January of this year.


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