How cattle farmers can use environmental commodities

On June 21, 2021, the United States Senate passed a bill affecting small farmers and ranchers, named the Growing Climate Solutions Act (GCSA). The purpose of this 34-page bill is to offer assistance to these small farmers when it comes to offsetting carbon emissions.
calendar icon 4 October 2021
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The new law attempts to break down the barriers between small farmers and the carbon offset market, which was traditionally only readily accessible to larger corporations and farming organizations.

Now, with this act in place, the government offers a way for all cattle farmers to reduce their carbon emissions and participate in the environmental commodities market via white certificates and other Voluntary Emission Reductions.

What Are Carbon Offsets?

Carbon offsets, also called Voluntary Emission Reductions (VERs), can take several forms, but in the most basic sense, they represent the act of reducing the amount of excess carbon gas that is released into the atmosphere.

Reductions can take place either at the source of carbon emissions, such as with farmers covering their crops to keep carbon and other greenhouse gases in the soil and not in the Earth's air.

In other cases, VERs can involve a farm neutralizing the amount of carbon it has already released into the air, such as with planting new trees.

Some investors -- whether farmers or not -- volunteer to participate in carbon emissions trading markets, also known by names like the "voluntary environmental credit market" or a "carbon offset scheme."

In these environmental commodities markets, individuals pay and trade monetary means with carbon offsetting organizations that aim to neutralize carbon emissions on a large scale, which can be more effective at neutralizing these emissions.

How Can Cattle Farmers Participate in Carbon Offsetting?

One way cattle farmers can offset the greenhouse gases released from their livestock is by using cattle feed specially designed to reduce the amount of gas released in the cattle waste. Another way is by managing the manure harvested by these livestock in a way that does not release excess gases into the air.

Under the new GCSA bill, small cattle farmers can also now be provided with the tools and knowledge needed to begin trading in carbon emission markets. By purchasing trades and investing in these types of markets, these farmers will be able to support the efforts of others in offsetting carbon emissions on a global scale.

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