Representatives from the US Department of Agriculture and the major agricultural commodity groups (e.g., corn/soybean/wheat growers, livestock producers, and farmer groups) met three times during 2000 and 2001 in educational sessions facilitated by Meridian staff. Participants also included scientists, policy experts, and environmental organizations, and the discussions addressed critical climate change issues relating to agriculture.
The first set of sessions included panels and presentations on the state of scientific knowledge about global climate change, potential carbon sources and sinks related to agriculture, policy options (including carbon-trading programs), and pending US legislation related to agriculture and carbon sequestration. The second session covered the US position on carbon sinks, as well as progress on international policy discussions leading up to the 6th Conference of Parties. At the final session, the group discussed the key carbon-related provisions to be included in the 2002 Farm Bill. The US Department of Agriculture sponsored the meetings, and several other participating organizations provided in-kind support.