Facebook is a forum for us to communicate with our friends and supporters and sometimes to engage in respectful debate. We are pleased that so many of you have become our "fans." It is becoming increasingly difficult not to want to delete posts that are insulting or hurtful to the farmers in our program, many of whom are also fans of our Facebook page. Part of what we do on Facebook is share facts that will allow consumers to make informed choices. We are a program promoting high-welfare meat, dairy and eggs. We have a strong following of people who choose to consume these products, but want to assure that the animals were raised with positive welfare. These consumers understand that these products are safer, healthier and ultimately better for the farmers, animals and the environment.
A new report by the United Nations has added credence to the view that sustainable grazing and pasture management can significantly contribute to the fight against global climate change. Entitled, “Review on Evidence on Dryland Pastoral Systems and Climate Change,” this paper offers much-needed discussion about the role that pasture can play in our efforts to mitigate carbon emissions and preserve these important carbon-sequestering ecosystems.
Pasturelands are under increasing pressure from development, salinization, overgrazing and transition to annual cropping for grain production (much of which goes to livestock feed). However, if properly managed they represent a carbon sink that could be even greater than forests.
From the FAO website: “Covering some 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land surface and accounting for 70 percent of its agricultural land, the world’s 3.4 billion ha of grasslands can also play a major role in supporting the adaptation and reducing the vulnerability to climate change of over one billion people who depend on livestock for a living.” This is a ringing endorsement for the practices used in outdoor, pasture-based production – they not only produce healthier, safer, tastier food, but can play a vital role in repairing our ecosystems as well.