Rural Investment to Protect Our Environment (RIPE) Builds Unique Climate Policy That Works For Farmers

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Rural Investment to Protect our Environment (RIPE) is a farmer-led nonprofit advancing a groundbreaking, bipartisan climate policy plan. Through $100 per acre payments, the RIPE100 plan would reward farmers for the total public value of their conservation practices. In addition to carbon sequestration, the voluntary federal program would pay for improved soil health, cleaner water, biodiversity and other environmental services.

"This is a first-of-its-kind policy that will help farmers invest in environmental improvements while mitigating the risk of implementing a new practice," said Brandon Hunnicutt, RIPE steering committee chair and Nebraska farmer who is active in state and national commodity associations.

Different from other public and private market options, RIPE100 is designed to benefit farms of all sizes and types, supports conservation practices farmers currently implement — such as cover crops and no-till — and would offer easy enrollment and verification.

But the plan’s most unique value? It will ensure that climate policy does not negatively affect farmer profitability. RIPE is the only policy proposal designed to protect farmers from climate policy costs and ensure a reasonable return on their efforts. In fact, RIPE payments would surpass the full cost of practice implementation and input cost increases from climate policy.

Through current government programs, farmers are only paid for carbon sequestration, yet other conservation practices also provide environmental benefits such as improved soil health, water quality and biodiversity. And the rate farmers are paid for carbon doesn’t cover their costs to implement relevant practices, creating a barrier to their participation. These facts drove RIPE Executive Director Aliza Wasserman-Drewes to years of research and conversations with farmers to develop a revolutionary plan that will benefit farmers and the public.

"American farmers have a pivotal role to play in tackling climate change, but they shouldn’t sacrifice their own livelihood in the process," Wasserman-Drewes said.

RIPE continues to advance this policy with the guidance of farmers and agriculture organizations. Those who want to get involved should sign up for updates at

Additional resources:

Contact: Janet Cassidy
Director of Communications, RIPE

SOURCE Rural Investment to Protect Our Environment