Editor's note: The following is the testimonial read by Jackson Leonard, in front of the Environmental Rules Board on June 11. For more on Jackson, see our About page.
I am a sustainable farmer from Eminence, Indiana. I have spent two years of service in the FFA and in August I will start my career in the United States Marine Corps. I seek involvement in these types of organizations because they build my leadership skills so that I will have the confidence to go out into the world and do something about an issue that I am passionate about.
Climate Change is my issue.
I want to be someone who makes a difference and I am motivated by the love for my country and by the disappointment that I have with the direction this country has decided to take. Why do we have to lead the world in defense spending, incarcerated people, pollution, and the number of adults who still hunt Bigfoot for a living? We need to start leading the world in sustainability, clean energy, and environmental restoration.
It is time for us to show the world what the United States and Indiana are capable of accomplishing for the planet.
We have been offending our environment for years — the same environment that I rely on to help me do my job. As Hoosiers, we take pride in agriculture. However, it is a huge polluter. It is time for us to farm in a way that conserves resources and feeds the microbiology in soil. This is called sustainable agriculture and it is the solution to agricultural-driven climate change.
I understand that not every farmer wants to go sustainable or organic. They don’t have to but what they need are people like you all who are dedicated to the environment that can help these farmers reduce their environmental impact. That way, they will not face the irreversible and unimaginable consequences that will starve future generations.
Indiana agriculture, as well as many other industries, needs a climate action plan so we can build a healthy and inhabitable environment for current and future generations.