Ordinarily, when a press release about climate change, particularly one involving the federal government, comes across my inbox, I tend not to get too excited.

Normally, it seems like it is just more silly partisan bickering that results in nothing.

But this one, which came from the office of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, revealed who the witnesses for the committee’s upcoming “Climate Change and the Agriculture Sector” hearing, which will be held at 9:30 a.m. on May 21.

The witnesses, as announced by committee chair Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, and Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, all seemed like solid witnesses, but there is one rock star, so to speak, in the announced lineup: Dr. Frank Mitloehner.

Mitloehner, a professor at the University of California-Davis (UC-Davis) Department of Animal Science, was just last month honored with the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology’s Communication Award. He has a vast knowledge of animal agriculture and its impact on the environment, and has a clear understanding about how agriculture’s role in greenhouse gas emissions has been greatly exaggerated, proving his points with sound science.

If you follow him on Twitter, you would learn just how much of an authority on the topic he is.

Twice in 2018, I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at industry events. The first was the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit, and the second was the Liquid Feed Symposium. While there was some duplication of content in the two talks, he presented enough new information and viewpoints that I wouldn’t hesitate to hear him speak again.

I think those of us in the agriculture industry can only hope his words are well absorbed by the committee members.

Other witnesses

Also speaking is Tom Vilsack, who served as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture through almost all of Barack Obama’s administration. Vilsack is now the president and CEO of te U.S. Dairy Export Council.

Another witness is Debbie Lyons-Blythe of Blythe Family Farms in Kansas. She, too, has spoken at the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit, speaking earlier this month about sustainability in agriculture.

Also in the lineup is Matthew Rezac of Rezac Farms in Nebraska. His operation has in the past been recognized with the Land O’ Lakes Outstanding Sustainability Award, for understanding what is done on the farm to improve air, soil and water quality supports positive environmental, economic and social impacts.

The hearing will be webcast live on ag.senate.gov.