From the Ground Up: The ongoing work to steward the environment
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Over 40% of registered voters said climate change was a “very important” issue to consider when casting their vote for 2020 elections, according to an August survey from the Pew Research Center. There’s an argument to be made from producers that the solutions they can make can potentially outweigh any current problems they create.
“I think we’re getting better. There was a time period back through the 1900s and dust bowl era we weren’t. we plowed a lot of property we shouldn’t have plowed up, it’s now back in grasslands,” says Texas A&M Livestock Specialist Ron Gill.
Today, the debate continues about agricultural practices and their impact on our environment.
The USDA says U.S. agriculture emitted an estimated 698 million metric tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent in 2018: about the same as 152 million cars per year. A third of which, comes from methane. While there’s an active debate about how much that affects our climate, Texas A&M Livestock Specialist Ron Gill says there’s opportunity to gain back those emissions naturally through efficient agriculture.
“We’re trying to improve the ability of the soil to capture and hold carbon. We can do that with improved grazing management,” says Gill. “As we build organic matter through grazing or farming practices, or whatever it may be, we are increasing the size of that sink for carbon.”
Gill says though there are disagreements between different communities, we could all benefit from education and communication.
“I am not an authority on climate, but I’m trying to educate myself, so I can have an elevator speech with somebody that is on the other side.”
Through that elevator speech, there’s an opportunity to learn from one another.
“We can’t just jump up and down and say ‘leave us alone, we’re doing all the right things.’ There’s things we can do. but on the other side we need to also communicate what we are currently doing that is helping. I think we’re starting to have that conversation.”
Gill thinks the logistics aren’t quite there yet, but the goal should be the same.
“It’s the details where we’re apart. I think we have to come together on the part of we all have to do the best we can that we want a good place to live.”
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