Explaining the importance of Western irrigated agriculture


Prior to now month, we’ve labored on testimony For 3 completely different Congressional hearings Dealing with the Western drought. Every has currentd An important alternative To elucidate drought and Western agriculture to federal lawmakers.

Why is defending irrigated agriculture Inside the West so important? There are three key causes:

  1. Sustaining meals independence for this nation is Greater than merely offering a healthful, plentiful, and clear meals current – Furthermore It is a matter of nationwide safety;
  2. Agriculture is The one U.S. sector that has posted a commerce surplus for properly over 50 years; and,
  3. As diets evolve and The worldwide inhabitants proceeds to increase, our place As a Outcome of the world’s largest meals exporter will play an more and more vital position Inside The worldwide financial system.

Sadly, some Western producers are Starting to really feel thOn their Way of life is being written off by a half of The general public that seems To imagine about thOn the tragedy occurring In lots of parts of the West is a comeuppance that ranchers A method or The completely different deserve.

It has been irritating to our members throughout the West to see A pair of of the media characterization of the tragedy That is being inflicted upon their fellow farmers and ranchers. The mannequin Ny Occasions, New Yorker and L. a. Occasions in current weeks have featured commentary from faramethod critics who downplay the significance of using water To current pretty priced And guarded meals and fiber. 

All by way of a drought, it typically Appears like a lot consideration is given to the critic, who has by no means managed water useful assets or carried out tasks To reinforce water administration or habitat for water-dependent species, however hAs a Outcome of the “straightforward” reply to The drawback at hand. Inevitably, the critics Think about their favourite useful use of water, which they favor On the expense of completely different important useful makes use of of water.

We nonetheless maintain a sliver of hope that essential assumeers and leaders will simply distinguish this nonsense from actuality.

There is A clear distinction to Many people Inside The agricultural West between Individuals who are actively working, and the observers offering solely critiques. Many Western ranchers are actually actively engaged, Looking for strategies To unravel water challenges, Versus the myriad Of out of doorways pursuits Who’ve not any drawback sharing their criticism and dangerous strategies. We’ll maintain pushing To inform coverage makers and The general public on The outcomes of drought—particularly water shortages, devastation to rural communities and life, meals insafety And higher prices On the Food market. 

We’ll additionally proceed our efforts To Make constructive that irrigated agriculture proceeds to play An important position in feeding our Nation, whereas maintaining our rural communities and the environment healthful. At a time of unprecedented change, one certainty maintains agency and true – our nation’s Most useful pure useful resource Want to be preserved.

Western producers can And might effectively work by way of future droughts and water shortages in a collaborative and efficient method.  The biggest method forward for hundreds of hundreds Of people and hundreds of hundreds of acres of farms and ranches and the meals and fiber they produce relaxation on this notion.

[Keppen is authorities director of Household Farm Alliance.]