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griculture is a vital sector of the economy that has been the backbone of many nations. Conservative principles of localism and autonomy are essential to ensure the success of American agriculture. The Heritage Foundation’s recent report, Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise, affirms these principles and highlights the importance of agricultural policy in discussions. The current Farm Bill, set to expire in September, has regulated trade policy, farm subsidies, crop insurance, food aid, and other conservation and agricultural programs for the last five years. The report emphasizes that climate initiatives have surpassed USDA policy priorities that ensure sufficient production and an affordable food supply. The USDA’s statement completely discounts the success of the American agricultural system both domestically and internationally. Transformation, then, serves no purpose but to jeopardize domestic food security and threaten American influence in global trade. The Heritage model, accordingly, sets new priorities to “develop and disseminate agricultural information and research, identify and address concrete public health threats … and remove both unjustified foreign trade barriers for U.S. goods and domestic government barriers that undermine access to safe and affordable food.” The agency will govern itself under law, respect for personal freedoms, and service of the American people.

In conclusion, conservative policies that support successful producers and ensure affordable consumption are at the backbone of America. As a great power competition gears up with China, it is essential to focus on agricultural policies, the backbone of a great power in an era of returning multipolarity. The Heritage Foundation’s report renews the focus on agricultural policies, which are vital to a great power persisting through a multipolar era.

Agriculture is the practice of cultivating crops and raising livestock for food and non-food products. It is one of the most important drivers of environmental pressures, particularly habitat change, climate change, water use, and toxic emissions. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities1. Today, small farms produce about a third of the world’s food, but large farms are prevalent. The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels, and raw materials (such as rubber).

Agriculture has come a long way since its inception. Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, and technological developments have sharply increased crop yields, but also contributed to ecological and environmental damage. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have similarly increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and environmental damage. Environmental issues include contributions to climate change, depletion of aquifers, deforestation, antibiotic resistance, and other agricultural pollution. Agriculture is both a cause of and sensitive to environmental degradation, such as biodiversity loss, desertification, soil degradation, and climate change, all of which can cause decreases in crop yield.

In conclusion, agriculture is a vital component of human civilization. It has enabled us to sustain ourselves and thrive in a world of limited resources. However, it is important to recognize the environmental impact of agriculture and work towards sustainable practices that ensure the longevity of our planet and its inhabitants.

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