As someone who has grown up on a small-scale, organic farm, I’ve seen farming be a force for good. It can employ good people, nourish the earth and humans, and raise healthy, content animals. There is still much room for positive change, though.

I heartily commend Sen. Cory Booker for introducing the Farm System Reform Act. This comprehensive bill helps farmers who currently own concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs (also known as factory farms), transition to more ecologically sound agriculture practices. We know that CAFOs harm workers with low wages and unsafe conditions, which COVID-19 has exacerbated. Animals and the environment suffer in these unsanitary, confined operations, too. By economically rewarding farmers for transitioning to renewable energy toward regenerative land-based farming, we put proven healthy agricultural methods into practice, and this benefits everyone.

No matter our political affiliation, perhaps we can unite behind meaningful measures to sequester carbon in the soil (thus removing it from the atmosphere). Our children and grandchildren will thank us for taking action now to mitigate and reverse climate change. Let’s support taxpayer dollars going more toward agriculture that stores carbon in the soil, treats animals kindly and nurtures biodiversity.

Rebecca Canright, Rockport