Call for more “climate-smart” crops in Nebraska

PCRM getting Pillen’s attention with billboards in Lincoln, Columbus
A group of physicians are calling on Gov. Jim Pillen to be "climate-smart" when it comes to crops that require little water.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 4:43 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A group of doctors is calling on Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen to phase out factory farming and increase support for crops that require little water instead.

The group, called Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, is putting up billboards in Lincoln and the governor’s hometown, Columbus, Nebraska.

Cody Stubbe, a spokesperson for PCRM, said, “We’re trying to get the governor’s attention, and the community’s attention to bring awareness to the climate change that’s going on.”

Stubbe says livestock operations are bad for the environment because they produce methane and require a lot of water. PCRM is calling for more of what they call climate-smart crops, like lentils, beans and sunflowers. “Nebraska has been going through a drought and this will help with that,” she said.

However, Stubbe knows this is no easy ask in a state known for its beef, with a governor who is a hog producer.

According to the Nebraska Beef Council, Nebraska has nearly 3.5 times more cattle than people.

Stubbe says even if Governor Pillen phased out one of his livestock operations, it would be a step in the right direction. “I would love for the governor to be a good example,” she said.

Stubbe also notes that climate-friendly crops are also more friendly to your heart. “You can open up the arteries in the heart and the whole body by eating a whole food plant-based diet,” she said.

PCRM is urging Governor Pillen to apply for federal grants that are now available to help farmers make the transition.

The governor’s office has not responded to multiple requests for comment by 6 News.