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CEE Professor Advocates for Sustainable Financing Mechanisms in Farm Bill Discussions

U-M CEE Prof. Peter Adriaens, along with colleagues from the Ross School of Business and SEAS, advocates for sustainable farming finance strategies in the next Farm Bill

Early May in Washington D.C., U-M CEE Professor Peter Adriaens, with Ross School of Business and SEAS colleagues presented a compelling argument for including sustainable farm financing approaches in the 2024-29 Farm Bill, including carbon finance, that outlive short-term subsidies. This legislation significantly influences how American land is financed, cultivated and conserved. Adriaens proposed that financial institutions do more to tie agricultural lending to sustainable practices—entrenching environmental stewardship into the heart of American agriculture for the long haul.

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“Rather than fleeting and short-term public support, we need to intertwine sustainability with our financial systems,” said Professor Adriaens. “Agriculture is a farm-to-Wall Street business.  Sustainable farming should become the standard, not just a subsidized exception. “

These conversations opened up avenues to harmonize public funding and private financing, creating a more resilient agricultural sector. Financial legislation under the Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures is in place. Now we need to restructure the ‘supply chain of capital’ to enable it.  Behind this push was not just Professor Adriaens’ determination but a dynamic partnership with Triangle Systems, a firm run by a U-M alum adept in sustainability-linked financing and digital securities.

Addressing policymakers and staff on Agriculture, Banking and Finance Committees, Professor Adriaens laid out the relationship between eco-friendly farming, carbon-linked financing, and a resilient economy, sparking thoughtful consideration of how to remold the Farm Bill and associated Digital Securities Acts for a more resilient future.

“We’re on the brink of a systemic transformation of how private capital is allocated globally,” affirmed Adriaens. “It’s imperative that our policies reflect the nexus of financial investment and ecological well-being.”

Adriaens’ involvement has helped lay the foundation for a greener outlook in future legislation, with the potential to see financial structures reimagined to bolster ecosystems essential for continued agricultural productivity under climate transition. This integration of financial mechanisms and environmental foresight is poised to make a substantial impact on the sustainability of American farming practices, including regenerative agriculture. 


Portrait of Mason Hinawi
Mason Hinawi

Marketing Communications Specialist
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering