How Bay Area farms could give Biden a blueprint for fighting climate change


In one of his first acts in office, President Biden said he wants farmers and ranchers to tell him how to fight climate change.

If he wants to hear from agricultural businesses already on the front lines of combating global warming, the Bay Area might be a good place to start.

On Albert Straus’ organic dairy farm in Marin County, an electric truck powered by cow manure feeds his 280 cows. Since 2004, he’s been using a methane digester, which captures methane from manure and converts it into enough electricity to power the whole farm. Judith Redmond of Full Belly Farms in Capay Valley, which sells at farmers’ markets all over the Bay Area, works with universities to implement sustainable practices like reduced tillage.

Agriculture accounts for a tenth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, well behind transportation (28%) and electricity production (27%). But the sector is uniquely positioned in the climate crisis: Farms can do more than just reduce emissions. They can pull the excess carbon that causes global warming out of the atmosphere and put it back into the ground, a process known as sequestration.

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