October 2021

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Farmer-Led Climate Policy That Works For Farmers

Welcome to the RIPE Newsletter!

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the RIPE eNewsletter, <<First Name>>! You’ve joined hundreds of other subscribers who are interested in shaping and advancing this unique farmer-led climate policy.

At RIPE, we believe farmers have a role to play in tackling climate change, but they shouldn’t sacrifice their own livelihood in the process. It’s time farmers are paid for the total value their stewardship practices deliver to the public. That includes carbon sequestration, plus improved soil health, water quality, biodiversity and more.

Subscribing to the newsletter is the first step in helping us advance the RIPE100 policy. In addition to reviewing legislative briefs and policy updates, we hope you’ll share your opinions to help shape a strong policy that’s relevant to all farmers — starting now with this month’s survey below! We’ll also share tips on how farmers are promoting RIPE100, invitations to exclusive events and conversations, and more. Thanks for joining us on this important journey. With your help, we can create and advance this groundbreaking initiative.

What is the RIPE100 Plan?

RIPE is a farmer-led nonprofit advancing a voluntary stewardship program that provides a reasonable return to farmers as part of a national bipartisan climate policy. Our RIPE100 policy plan enables farmers of all sizes and types to earn $100 per acre from conservation practices that deliver public value through carbon sequestration, soil health, water quality and other environmental services.

In developing the policy, we examine and quantify stewardship practices based on their environmental contributions and assign a dollar value to each practice. We talk with farmers and farm groups to identify which practices are practical for farmers of all types. As a farmer-led organization, we believe farmers must be integral to developing a comprehensive suite of practices that all farm types can adopt.

But farmers’ feedback doesn’t end with identifying the practical and high-impact conservation practices. Farmers shaped the following features of the RIPE100 plan:

  • Pays $100/acre for stewardship including the total public value for soil health, water quality, biodiversity and more.

  • Complements the carbon market.

  • Compensates conservation practices that are currently implemented.

  • Offers easy enrollment and verification.

  • Available to all sizes and types of farms.


Did You Know?

graphic showing how RIPe100 payments align with public benefits

For more information, analysis of how we’ve designed the RIPE100 Plan, and its expected impacts, review our white paper.

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Please take a moment to answer this month’s three-question survey. It will help you have a say in building the RIPE100 policy, and ensure that we communicate with you about RIPE news and policy in the way that’s most convenient for you. Thanks!

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Steering Committee News

Welcome, Minn. Farmers Union and North Dakota Farmers Union! We would like to formally welcome the Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) and North Dakota Farmers Union (NDFU) to our Steering Committee!

MFU’s members will be represented by Eunice Biel, a former MFU executive committee member and co-owner/operator of Biel Dairy Farm in southern Minnesota.

NDFU will be represented by Government Relations Director Matt Perdue who is also engaged in his family’s farming operation, where they raise small grains, pulse crops and minor oilseeds.

We look forward to working with both organizations to build a policy that works for their farmers.

Minnesota Farmers Union Logo

Dozens of Farmers Connect Over RIPE in Omaha - RIPE organized a grower meeting featuring Kara and John Boyd Jr. at Culxr House in Omaha, Nebraska, followed by a visit to the Great Plains Black History Museum. The Boyds are the founders and directors of the National Black Farmers Association, the Association of American Indian Farmers and the National Women's Farming Association. About 40 people from a variety of agricultural backgrounds and organizations attended the event.

It was a great opportunity for the Boyds to share information about RIPE and why they participate as members of the Steering Committee. RIPE staffers Jamie and Matt were on hand to connect and answer questions for interested farmers as well. We look forward to returning to the area!

Are you interested in having RIPE staff speak to your organization? Contact Ag Outreach Director Jamie Powers.

Pictured are (left to right, back) RIPE Midwest Agricultural Organizer Matt Ohloff, Steering Committee Member John Boyd Jr., RIPE Agricultural Outreach Director Jamie Powers and (front) Kara Boyd.

Pictured are (left to right, back) RIPE Midwest Agricultural Organizer Matt Ohloff, Steering Committee Member John Boyd Jr., RIPE Agricultural Outreach Director Jamie Powers and (front) Kara Boyd.

Our Steering Committee advises on farmer engagement, contributes to policy design, and makes recommendations on other opportunities that support RIPE’s mission. Learn about our Steering Committee members here.

RIPE Engages Expert Consultants

RIPE is expanding its capacity to shape national policy with the following additions.

Bradley Karmen recently retired from the Farm Service Agency after 41 years at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the USDA. He worked for 12 secretaries of agriculture and has been recognized for his expertise in the commodity, conservation and crop insurance titles of the farm bills.

Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas logo

Mehlman Castagnetti is one of the most effective lobbying firms in Washington. Its seasoned, bipartisan team has decades of political and policy experience, and helps clients develop and implement winning advocacy strategies, and navigate policy battles in Congress, the White House and regulatory agencies.

We're Hiring! Click here to see our openings.

RIPE in the News

In an editorial, No-Till Farmer Editor Frank Lessiter shares how the benefits of environmentally friendly farming practices extend to the non-farming population and how the RIPE100 Plan would put more money in farmers’ pockets. Read the full article here.

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RIPE tracks the Congressional policy landscape, and is focused on developing key relationships with policymakers to help them create policy that works for farmers. Here are recent insights we’ve gained.

  • Democratic House and Senate ag leaders added $28 billion for conservation agriculture to the reconciliation package, but the proposal doesn’t cover farmers' participation costs nor the costs of climate policy on farmers' inputs. Farmers and the public need a better deal. While RIPE applauds legislators for recognizing the positive impact farmers have on climate and supports increased investment in conservation practices, there is more work to be done to educate on what farmers need.

  • Members of Congress like the RIPE concept! But they need to hear from farmers before they will act. We’ve engaged over a dozen Congressional leaders in both parties, and about 80% love the core concepts we’re advancing.

  • Now is the time for farmers to engage. The bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the Senate and awaits House action includes billions of dollars for climate spending, but does not include an agricultural compensation program nor does it include the larger climate policy that many constituents want.

Keep reading for deeper analysis

Stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter — and be sure to tag us in your posts with #RIPE100 so we can reshare!

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