Presidential Candidates, Local Farmers Think About Future of Agriculture

Climate change is a hot topic. The warming of the planet creates an uncertain future for farmers and the security of our food sources.

According to reports from the International Panel on Climate Change, agriculture accounts for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.

Now, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar have all suggested programs to pay farmers to protect the soil by planting cover crops and reducing soil tilling. Other candidates, like Beto O’Rourke want to pay farmers to help take carbon out of the atmosphere.

Leelanau County vegetable farmer John Dindia says these are steps the industry needs to take to protect food sources for years to come.

“I definitely would love to see all farms incorporating cover crops and rotational plantings,” said Dindia. “The soil is the greatest carbon sink there is. Agricultural land is also extremely important because of how much carbon is stored in the soil.”

Dindia and his partner Bailey run Lakeview Hill Farm, and their operation is all organic and run by 100% renewable energy. His vegetable harvests are low impact and extremely sustainable.

“[Farmers] have the potential to destroy the environment as well as save the environment,” said Dindia. “We are the only way that we are going to reduce carbon in the atmosphere because it’s got to come out of the atmosphere and into something.”

He says no matter who is in charge, he’d love to see politicians, as well as consumers, demand more sustainable farming.

“We are going to need some support from everybody all the way from consumers to politicians,” said Dindia. “[Farmers] are not going to do it unless other people want it.”