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Chairman David Scott Opening Statement at Hearing “The Role of Climate Research in Supporting Agricultural Resiliency”

WASHINGTON House Agriculture Chairman David Scott of Georgia delivered the following statement at today's hearing “The Role of Climate Research in Agricultural Resiliency.”

[As prepared for delivery]

As many of you will recall, our first hearing in my tenure as Chairman of this Committee discussed the role that farmers, ranchers, and foresters have in addressing climate change, as well as the impact climate change has on their communities.

Today’s hearing will focus on the vital roles that research, education, and extension play in understanding and adapting to climate change and supporting agricultural resiliency.

Climate change poses a threat to our rural and urban communities; our farmers, ranchers, and foresters; and the production of our food, fuel, and fiber.

Currently, many communities across the country are struggling with droughts, wildfires, temperature extremes, and altered patterns of pest pressure exacerbated by climate change. Unfortunately, this has only increased as natural disasters and changing weather conditions continue to impact our country and our planet.

Research, education, and extension all play a key role in supporting both adaptation and mitigation efforts. I am pleased that we have an exemplary researcher from an 1890 Land Grant Institution here today to speak not only about climate research but also about how 1890s are leading the way with cutting-edge research.

Our research institutions, including our Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other minority-serving institutions, play an important role in developing student leaders, advocates, and supporting rigorous scientific analysis on issues related to community and agricultural resiliency, adaptation to climate change, and environmental and climate justice.

This is so important because a recent EPA analysis found that harms from climate change disproportionally impact underserved and under-resourced communities who are least able to prepare for and recover from climate-related disasters.

Today we are all experiencing how disruptions can impact the price and availability of products given the global nature of our food and agricultural supply chains.

Make no mistake, changing weather patterns and increased natural disasters have, and will, continue to impact our food and agricultural systems and our supply chains. That is why research is so important – to understand the challenges, test theories, build resiliency, develop solutions, and take advantage of opportunities.

We must ensure that climate research is innovative, cutting-edge, and revolutionary. But we must also ensure that it leads to practical and applicable solutions for the farmers, ranchers, and foresters on the front lines of climate change. Our research institutions are already doing this important work, and we must support them.

Today’s panel of witnesses has a wide range of experiences and a significant depth of knowledge, and we are thankful that they have brought their expertise to the House Agriculture Committee today.

I now recognize my friend and the Ranking Member of the Full Committee, ‘GT’ Thompson, for any opening remarks he may have. 

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