Grande: ESG: It’s what’s for dinner
Grande writes, "If you like a good steak, and trust me grilling season will come, eventually, now is the time to find a local rancher offering farm to table beef and other products. It will give you some food security and it will help the ranchers who are struggling."
Almost five years ago I wrote Something Stinks: The War on Methane about a couple of articles on the evils of beef and my introduction to the word "decarbonization." Of course, the war on beef was just some wacky conspiracy theory, right?
Fast forward to 2022 and several recent stories caught my eye that help connect the dots on the ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) and what it will mean to you. I have addressed the plight of farmers and ranchers last September and also back in 2018 . But the pressures on farmers and ranchers continue to grow.
Earlier this month the New York Times published an opinion video in a series they call “We’re Cooked.” The first video has the warm and fuzzy title Meet the People Getting Paid to Kill Our Planet . The opinion piece blames American agriculture for the (over-hyped) climate catastrophe. You see, it is the cattle ranchers and the consumers who enjoy a tasty steak that are the enemy – the new “Un-Vaxxed” – if you will. And our neighbors to the north at the National Post ran a helpful article examining the psychology of how we can both love animals and eat them.
While oil and coal draw most of the fire from the ESG crowd, farmers and ranchers are on the menu as well and we should all be concerned about that. If you like a good steak, and trust me grilling season will come, eventually, now is the time to find a local rancher offering farm to table beef and other products. It will give you some food security and it will help the ranchers who are struggling.
An article in Agweek showed how ranchers are getting squeezed between higher costs of operation and the low prices offered by large meat processors. The latest news on inflation is that consumer prices have increased 7%, believe me our famers and ranchers preparing for spring would love to see only a 7% increase in their costs. Buying local and supporting farm to table efforts are more important than ever.
And it is not just environmentalists at the New York Times who want to put farmers and ranchers in a bind. Our own government is beginning to weigh in. Also in Agweek was a story about Gov. Burgum’s response to a plan by the National Credit Union Administration, the federal agency that regulates credit unions, to require your local credit union to weigh "climate risk" when working with farmers and ranchers. The pressure to evaluate climate risk will mean that the cost of borrowing will go up, if loans are available at all.
There are too many unified voices signing from the same ESG hymnal to ignore the facts. Anyone who values our way of living on the northern plains needs to educate themselves on what is happening to agriculture and stand with our farmers and ranchers. Either that or someday in the future as you choke down a "fake meat" burger you’ll wish you had.
Grande represented the 41st District in the N.D. Legislature from 1996 to 2014. She is CEO of the Roughrider Policy Center, an "innovation over regulation" think tank. She is a wife, mom, grandma, lover of life and Jesus. Opinions are solely her own.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.