farm scene

The Security and Exchange Commission’s proposed rule to require climate disclosures by public companies could severely impact family farms and ranches and intensify the already concerning rate of consolidation in agriculture.

The proposed rule requires extensive requirements for public companies to report on Scope 3 emissions, which are the result of activities from assets not owned or controlled by an organization but contribute to its value chain. While farmers and ranchers would not be required to report directly to the SEC, they provide almost every raw product that goes into the supply chain.

“The SEC has no standing to create such an intrusive rule that has the potential to create substantial liabilities and costs for producers of every commodity,” said Brandon Kern, senior director of state and national policy with Ohio Farm Bureau. “We talked about this extensively during a recent trip to Washington, D.C. and we told our members of Congress directly that Farm Bureau strongly opposes this proposal and we ask them to do the same. They need to hear that message from our members as well through the Action Alert that was created for this issue.”

American Farm Bureau economists anticipate those costs and liabilities stemming from reporting obligations, technical challenges, significant financial and operational disruption and the risk of financially crippling legal liabilities.

“Farmers have never been subjected to regulations intended for Wall Street,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “This proposed rule is an example of overreach by the SEC, whose primary purpose is to protect investors from unscrupulous business practices. Unlike large corporations currently regulated by the SEC, farmers don’t have a team of compliance officers or attorneys dedicated to handling SEC compliance issues. This proposal could keep small farms from doing business with public companies at a time when all farms are needed to ensure food security here and abroad.”

AFBF economists expect the proposed SEC rule to impact farmers and ranchers through:

  • Increased costs due to compliance concerns. Farmers could be required to track and disclose information on day-to-day activities;
  • Potentially requiring private and personally identifiable data. Unlike public companies and corporations, farmers work and raise families in their place of business;
  • Consolidation, as small farms lack the resources to comply with burdensome reporting requirements;
  • Increased liability because the timeline given to comply with Scope 3 emissions is unattainable.

Farmers have until June 17 to comment on the proposed rule change.

American Farm Bureau Federation economists discuss potential impacts of the proposed rule in the latest Market Intel.

I'm eternally grateful for the support Ohio Farm Bureau scholarships provided in helping me turn my dreams into reality.
Bethany Starlin's avatar
Bethany Starlin

Hocking County Farm Bureau

Available scholarships
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Business Solutions
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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