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Dec. 20, 2019
This paid piece is sponsored by POET.
Jeff Broin, founder and CEO of POET, the world’s largest producer of biofuels, presented this month on agriculture’s role in the climate revolution at the fifth annual Farmers Business Network Farmer2Farmer Conference.
Broin spoke to hundreds of farmers and agriculture supporters about the key role of agriculture and biofuels to mitigate the devastating effects of climate change.
Broin’s presentation covered the past, present and the future of agriculture and the overwhelming consequences of extracting 50 billion years of oil out of the ground and displacing it into the environment in just 150 years.
“Fossil fuels have upset the natural cycle of the planet” and led to “catastrophic consequences,” he said.
Broin gives credit to farmers and biofuels for creating a near-term solution to the current climate crisis – to literally return to our roots by shifting from our dependence on extracting oil to harnessing the products we need from the surface of the Earth through agriculture.
“I believe that in the future, ag will provide the food, the fuel and the fiber to sustain the plants and animals on the planet,” he said.
Renewables like starch and cellulose can create the building blocks to replace oil, Broin continued.
In order to do so, the world needs to turn to biofuels to expand the market for grain, keep agriculture sustainable and grow agriculture worldwide, he added.
Speaking to the farmers in the audience Broin said: “Everyone in ag needs to remember you don’t produce food. You produce food, fuel and fiber.”
Agriculture is truly the solution to climate change, but it will be an uphill fight against the oil companies to restore a healthy planet for future generations, he said.
“What will it take? It’s going to take us all working together. Uniting farmers, ag companies, ag organizations, biofuel producers, biofuel organizations, food companies and sustainability drivers to tell the ag climate change story.”
Following the presentation, Broin and a panel featuring Farmers Business Network CEO Amol Deshpande and U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance CEO Erin Fitzgerald continued the discussion about farmers’ role in the climate revolution by engaging with audience members. Broin encouraged the audience to unite to educate the public about agriculture’s ability to address the climate crisis.
It’s a challenging battle, and one that Broin has been fighting for 30 years, but a greener, cleaner future where farmers are recognized for their contribution is not out of reach, he said. He has lived the fight day in and day out and knows that success relies on telling the biofuels story and convincing policymakers and the public that agriculture is the solution. Agriculture has been a catalyst for some of the most challenging global issues – poverty and hunger – and now ag is positioned to be the best near-term solution to the climate crisis.
“You can only fix climate change in one way, and it’s through agriculture and the cycle that God made on the surface of the Earth,” Broin said. “My children and grandchildren have to live on this earth, and that’s why I go to work every day. I’m trying to create a better set of circumstances for the next generation.”
“In the future, ag will provide the food, the fuel and the fiber to sustain the plants and animals on the planet.” Here’s POET CEO Jeff Broin’s take on the short-term solution to the climate crisis.