The 2021-22 MFGA Board recently updated the organization’s official position on carbon, landing on seven key MFGA areas as primary recommendations for all government and industry leadership on future carbon offset systems, projects and producer engagement.
Larry Wegner, MFGA Chair, said the organization took the update to heart, engaging in several discussions and email threads to compile the updated carbon position. MFGA was one of the first agriculture groups out of the gate when they identified grasslands and healthy soil as vital components of any then-to-be-established carbon offset systems in their first Carbon Position released in 2017.
"We all hear about carbon, plans for carbon systems or how to build carbon on a daily basis on our lands," said Wegner. "It is a fast-moving multi-level discussion that seems to make the news in some way or form daily. However, it is important to also realize that forage producers and livestock and grassland managers have the greatest ability to sequester the most amounts of carbon via the large amount of land we work on our farms."
According to Wegner, it is also important to fully understand and prioritize the fact that storing carbon in our soils is not the only valued ecological goods and services delivered from our lands that help society on many levels. He feels the effort and diligence the MFGA Board and staff put into the update serves the organization and the MFGA network well, including the positive contributions of regenerative agriculture, on-farm research, rotational grazing, cover crops and integrating livestock into farming systems.
"MFGA was quick out of the gate to be carbon leaders for our producer and industry network in 2017," said Wegner. "We have once again upped our game here with this update that ties into seven key areas that MFGA recommends as vital components and part of every carbon system and discussion going forward from a forage, livestock and grassland management perspective."