Issued by Indigo Agriculture
Did you know agriculture presents an efficient, affordable, and distinguished nature-based climate solution? In this report, learn about the progress happening today to make farming more beneficial for people and the planet.
Agriculture is emerging as a major scalable climate solution. Indigo Carbon is a program that connects farmers and corporate supporters to accelerate this change. Learn more below in The Farming We Need, a progress report featuring the real work that is bringing about economic, environmental, and societal progress through agriculture. This month’s edition examines:
New Administration’s Impact on Carbon Farming. How will the new administration advance agriculture as a nature-based climate solution? President Biden plans to establish a “carbon bank” within the USDA to pay farmers to “put their land in conservation” – scaling American agriculture to be “the first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions.”
The idea of paying farmers for their hard work to store carbon in the soil is not limited to the incoming administration. Last summer, champions in Congress introduced the Growing Climate Solutions Act, creating a bipartisan and bicameral blueprint for minimum quality criteria for verifiers of carbon credits. This bill already has extensive support with 50 endorsements from across the private and public sector, including Microsoft and EDF.
Through this support, we find a real win-win-win solution for farmers, consumers, and the environment. The federal government can stimulate economic growth in rural America, promote real and immediate carbon drawdown through nature, and help farmers optimize crop production.
Fashion and Farming’s Indelible Bond. A conservation biologist steering sustainability and sourcing for a luxury fashion group? You better believe Helen Crowley, Head of Sustainable Sourcing & Nature Initiatives for Kering’s 14 brands, including Gucci, gets some surprised reactions. In her defense, she has always loved nice shoes—even when doing field work.
“The raw materials produced by agriculture become what all of us wear and walk around in,” says Crowley. “The runway is dependent on farmers and the soils they manage.” With Fashion Weeks now taking place all over the world, virtually staged from New York to Milan to Paris, there’s an opportunity to reflect more deeply on this idea, to understand how clothes, designers and producers are so obviously responsible for fostering and funding biodiversity.
Apparel That Reduces Atmospheric Carbon. Premier outdoor apparel The North Face makes headlines with their roster of elite professional outdoor athletes and their crossover street style, but it’s their new sourcing pilot for regeneratively grown cotton that truly reflects their values.
“Regeneratively grown source materials have the ability to shift the industry from simply ‘doing less harm’ to actually replenishing or having a positive impact on nature,” says Carol Shu, the senior manager of global sustainability at North Face. “As a brand that is committed to protecting the outdoor places we love to play in, we believe this is another critical step in addressing climate change impacts in our supply chain.”
Equity in Agriculture. Whether it’s building a sustainable farm on a Virginia peninsula or leading discussions as the chairman of the National Black Growers Council, fifth-generation farmer P.J. Haynie seeks progress. He’s been using specific regenerative farming practices – like cover crops and no-till – to reduce diesel and labor expenses for the last 25 years. By meeting other Black farmers across the country, Haynie has realized how essential advocacy is to supporting their business and prosperity.
“There are more bald eagles in the country than there are Black row-crop farmers,” Haynie says. “If we don’t do something... Black row-crop farmers will soon be extinct.”
Building Scalable Technology. The carbon capture space was heating up even before Elon Musk pledged a hundred million dollars to spur innovation. Take the Indigo Carbon Challenge, which called for entrepreneurs and innovators to help unlock the potential for agriculture to draw down atmospheric carbon dioxide in 2019. After 265 applicants were brought down to 31 semifinalists, three winners were just announced at the end of January. One of them, LaserAg, has adapted laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) technology to analyze 15 soil features in less than 1 minute. The solution comes out of nearly a decade of development by LogiAg, one of Canada’s largest agro-environmental organizations.
“Trust the agricultural community,” says Jacques Nault of LaserAg. “They will join this fight against climate change, and they will sequester carbon. I have a lot of confidence in the innovation and the spirit of farmers.”
Indigo Carbon is a scalable climate solution where farmers are the heroes. It is backed by science, driven by technology, and supports sustainability across the supply chain. Our program has 13 corporate supporters, deployed two rigorous measurement protocols, and helped thousands of farmers. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org