Colorado farmer and Market Development Action Team (MDAT) member Troy Schneider recently delivered oral comments at a Stakeholder Listening Session of the UN Food Systems Summit convened by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Organization Affairs along with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The session gave a platform for NCGA to outline our priorities for the upcoming Summit on September 23, 2021.
“Americans today have access to one of the safest, most diverse, and most affordable food supplies in history, thanks in large part to the efficiency, productivity and innovation of U.S. agriculture enabled by technology and the United States’ robust science and risk-based regulatory system,” Schneider said.
NCGA has been engaged in the Summit process through participation in multiple events leading up to the September event, including Independent Dialogues, USDA-hosted National Dialogues, and events surrounding the July Pre-Summit. As stated on the record by Schneider, corn grower priorities include:
- First, food systems need to take a holistic approach to address sustainability, which includes helping make farms agronomically and financially more sustainable. However, any recommendations from the Summit process need to be voluntary for adoption.
- Second, farmers must continue to have access to innovative technologies to produce food more sustainably. Biotechnology seeds and new breeding techniques have undoubtably allowed U.S. agriculture to increase its production efficiency while simultaneously improving land-use efficiency. Additionally, herbicides further enable the use of cover crops and no-till practices on corn acres – which has decreased soil erosion per acre by 58% from 1980 to 2015.
- Third, we believe more countries should adopt science-based decision-making processes. This approach increases yields for crop producers and can alleviate hunger in nations with varying levels of economic development.
- Fourth, the Summit needs to recognize that a rules-based system for agricultural trade will reduce market access barriers and is vital to achieving food security and sustainability on a global scale.
Between now and September 23, NCGA will continue to communicate our priorities with leaders at USDA and State. We thank the Biden administration for their continued engagement and leadership on the efficiency, sustainability and safety of the U.S. food system.