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Senator Baldwin Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Help Farmers and Ranchers Voluntarily Reduce Methane Emissions from Livestock

WISCONSIN – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined a bipartisan group of her colleagues to introduce the Enteric Methane Innovation Tools for Lower Emissions and Sustainable Stock (EMIT LESS) Act to voluntarily reduce methane emissions from dairy and beef cattle across America’s family farms and ranches.

“Wisconsin’s farmers and ranchers work hard day in and day out to feed our families and we need to give them all the tools they need to succeed, including supporting the innovative practices for farmers that want to reduce their emissions,” said Senator Baldwin. “I’m proud to work with Republicans and Democrats to unlock new tools for farmers to cut down their methane emissions and create sustainable farming operations for the next generation.”

Enteric methane is naturally emitted during the digestive process of most livestock species. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide. The agricultural sector accounts for 10 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and enteric methane is the single largest source of agricultural methane emissions. Enteric methane is also the second largest source of all methane emissions in the nation, second only to the oil and gas industry.

The EMIT LESS Act aims to address enteric methane by expanding research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for products (e.g. feed additives) and practices that reduce these emissions and creating voluntary incentives through conservation programs to help get those products into the hands of farmers and ranchers.

Senator Baldwin is also working to help Wisconsin farmers and ranchers access the innovative products they need to reach their climate goals and compete on the global stage. Her bipartisan Innovative Feed Enhancement and Economic Development (FEED) Act of 2023 would allow farmers, ranchers, and producers to access new innovative feed products that will help them compete on the global stage and reduce byproducts. The legislation creates a new pathway at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval of new and innovative feed additive products that improve efficiency in meat and dairy production while also reducing byproducts.

This EMIT LESS Act is led by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) and also co-sponsored by Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS). The legislation is supported by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Action, Breakthrough Institute, Clean Air Task Force (CATF), Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), Danone North America, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Environmental Working Group (EWG), Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA), International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), McDonald’s, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC), and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF).

“Innovative feed ingredients are poised to help U.S. dairy farmers augment their ongoing voluntary, producer-led stewardship efforts. Once enteric methane-reducing feed additives are approved, dairy producers will need resources and support as they begin uptake. To that end, we commend Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Jerry Moran (R-KS) for their bipartisan legislation to better target USDA conservation programs to assist farmers as they begin to use these important feed ingredients on a voluntary basis,” said Gregg Doud, President and CEO, National Milk Producers Federation.

A one-pager on this legislation is available here. Full text of this legislation is available here.