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Statements of Support for the Agriculture Resilience Act

Congresswoman Pingree's bill, the Agriculture Resilience Act (ARA), aims to empower farmers with the incentives they need to stay in business, fight climate change, and help draw down carbon in the soil. With the right tools as outlined by Congresswoman Pingree's bill, farming will be on a pathway towards net-zero U.S. agriculture emissions by 2040. 

Below are supportive statements from businesses, climate change experts, farmers, and Mainers on why we need the Agriculture Resilience Act. Read more about the bill here.



Former Vice President Al Gore: “Rain bombs, floods, heat stress, drought, and a multitude of other impacts have made it clear that the climate crisis is also a food and agriculture crisis. Rep. Chellie Pingree’s Agriculture Resilience Act rightly puts farmers at the center of a comprehensive plan to achieve net-zero emissions from the US agricultural system by 2040. This Act harnesses science and resources to advance regenerative farming practices in order to protect and enhance soil health while removing carbon from the atmosphere. By realizing the vision set forth in this bill, American farmers can continue to provide healthy food sustainably, while playing a leading role in solving the climate crisis.”

Tim Fink, Policy Director, American Farmland Trust: "We applaud Rep. Pingree for developing and introducing the Agriculture Resilience Act. The legislation rightfully takes an all-hands-on-deck approach, bringing to bear many facets of agriculture in combatting climate change, including expanding farmland protection, USDA climate research, conservation programming, and food waste efforts," said Tim Fink, policy director at American Farmland Trust. "We look forward to working with Rep. Pingree, the committees of jurisdiction, Congress as a whole, and interested stakeholders in advancing policies that include our nation’s producers as part of the solution."

Carrie Balkcom, Executive Director, American Grassfed Association:The American Grassfed Association thanks Congresswoman Pingree for introducing H.R. 5861: The Agriculture Resilience Act.  This bill will support American family farms and farmers who are dedicated to returning resiliency to farming by using less extractive farming techniques and methods.  To have dedicated funds and other resources from the USDA and other federal agencies that will support these farmers and the rural economies they support, and allow these farms and communities to survive and thrive. 

Jay Feldman, Executive Director, Beyond Pesticides: “Rep. Pingree's focus in the legislation on carbon sequestration associated with organic, regenerative agriculture and soil management is the key to reversing the climate crisis and the dramatic decline in biodiversity.”

Jeanne Merrill, California Climate and Agriculture Network: “Agriculture has so much to offer—and much at stake—when it comes to turning our farms into carbon sinks and making our food system more secure. The Agriculture Resilience Act will provide the resources needed to turn agricultural solutions to climate change into wins for farmers, our health and the environment.”

Roland McReynolds, Executive Director, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association: “The effects of climate change have hit farmers in the Carolinas hard, with extreme weather events touching every crop and market over recent years.  This legislation’s investments in building healthy soils will both help our farms and rural communities adapt to climate change, and empower farmers to help avert its worst impacts.”

Coastal Enterprises, Inc.:
 “Coastal Enterprises, Inc., applauds Congresswoman Chellie Pingree on the release of her bill, H.R. 5861, the Agriculture Resilience Act. This bill takes an approach to climate change mitigation and agricultural sustainability that is solutions-focused, science-based, and that engages agricultural producers at the community level. We support her bottom-up solutions that incentivize best practices. The bill’s comprehensive scope encompasses many areas that can make a real difference, from soil health to food waste to production and processing. We wholeheartedly support this bill; we believe it will go a long way toward shifting the current agriculture paradigm and will support farmers to integrate better practices while increasing their financial sustainability.”

David Runsten, Policy Director, Community Alliance with Family Farmers: “The Community Alliance with Family Farmers was the only agricultural organization in California to support the state's first-in-the-nation climate change bill in 2006, because climate smart farming practices reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide multiple environmental and economic benefits to farmers. Representative Pingree's HR 5861 recognizes the important role farmers can play as part of the climate solution.  We applaud her work and urge the Senate to debate this important legislation as well.”

Conservation Law Foundation: “Conservation Law Foundation supports the Agricultural Resilience Act, which is a win for farmers and for the environment.”

Peter Lehner, Managing Attorney for Sustainable Food & Farming, Earthjustice: “When carbon is in our soils, it makes the soil healthier and better able to withstand floods, droughts, and heat waves. Yet when there is too much carbon in the atmosphere, it leads to harmful climate change,” said Peter Lehner, Managing Attorney for Sustainable Food & Farming at Earthjustice. “Fortunately, widespread adoption of proven, profitable agroecological practices can help keep the carbon where itshould be, remove carbon from the atmosphere, and protect our food supply from the increasing extreme weather. We applaud Representative Pingree for introducing the Agriculture Resilience Act, which provides many of the necessary policy boosts to accelerate adoption of these practices. Agriculture can become part of the climate change solution. This is a bill every legislator should support.”

Sandra Purohit, Director of Federal Advocacy for E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs): "This bill recognizes that farmers want to be part of the climate solution and that we need them to be. By increasing investments in opportunities such as the soil health and cover crop programs, Rep. Pingree’s bill takes an essential step to making that happen."

Colin O’Neil, Legislative Director, Environmental Working Group: No one understands the impacts of the climate crisis better than American farmers, who are already reeling from the effects of extreme weather events. It is high time that Washington start treating the climate crisis like what it is – a crisis. EWG applauds Rep. Pingree for putting forward a bold, visionary plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the farm sector in half before 2030 and setting a goal to be net-zero by 2040. All sectors of the economy will need to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially energy companies. But farmers are uniquely positioned to reduce emissions and conserve carbon right away. With the right practices in place, we could capture and store more carbon in the ground, reduce emissions from fertilizer application and manure management, make farms more resilient to the effects of climate change and help protect our drinking water supplies.

Farm Aid: “The Agricultural Resilience Act invests in the great potential of family farmers to address our climate crisis. Farm Aid has long maintained that while farmers and ranchers are on the frontlines of climate change, they are also best-positioned to lead our country with solutions and innovations that improve soil health, sequester carbon, enhance biodiversity and much more. We look forward to working with Representative Pingree on passing the Agricultural Resilience Act."

Emily Broad Leib, Director, Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic: “The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) is thrilled to see Representative Pingree champion this significant federal legislation. Directing federal funds to support climate resilience in the food and agricultural sector makes perfect sense, as this sector holds great potential for ensuring a clean environment and mitigating climate change, and because farmers bear the brunt of increasing shifts in climate. We strongly support the proposed changes to crop insurance and conservation compliance to promote soil health, increased support for agroforestry centers, and a concerted focus on carbon sequestration and GHG emission reduction in working lands conservation programs. Further, we applaud the bill’s provisions to reduce food waste because food waste is a major contributor to GHG, as well as a waste of natural resources and a drain on the national economy. Requiring surplus food donation by federal contractors, supporting states and Tribes in investing in composting and anaerobic digestion, providing grants for food waste reduction in schools, and helping consumers by clarifying the senseless date labels, all offer commonsense solutions to reduce the amount of food that needlessly goes to waste.”

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy: “The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy supports the Agriculture Resilience Act. Farmers are increasingly challenged by climate impacts, and this bill offers solutions that will help farmers adapt to extreme weather while also contributing to the climate solution through reduced emissions and carbon sequestration. IATP especially supports the bill’s efforts to reform animal agriculture through its goals of supporting advanced grazing management, increasing crop-livestock integration, and shifting manure management practices to less climate-damaging methods. Minnesota lost 315 dairies in 2019 alone; this bill’s support of pasture-based operations and efforts to hold CAFOs accountable for their pollution are a step in the right direction to keep family farms viable.”

Duane Hovorka, Izaak Walton League of America: “Innovative farmers are proving that agriculture can be a vital part of the solution to our climate change, water quality, and other natural resource problems. Rep. Pingree’s legislation will give more farmers and ranchers the tools they need to adopt profitable farming systems that work with nature to rebuild healthy soils and take carbon out of the air.”

Bill Toomey, President and CEO, Maine Farmland Trust: “We are thrilled to see the introduction of Congresswoman Pingree’s Agriculture Resilience Act. This bill will provide tools and assistance to help Maine farmers use natural climate solutions like healthy soils practices and farmland protection, and realize the climate mitigation, resilience, and economic viability benefits they provide.”

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association: “The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) applauds Congresswoman Pingree’s leadership in recognizing the critical role that agriculture plays in addressing the global climate crisis. The Agriculture Resilience Act lays out broad and ambitious goals for mitigating and adapting to the impacts of our changing climate. MOFGA is especially grateful to Representative Pingree for prioritizing investments in soil health, agricultural research, conservation practices, biodiversity, and increased technical and financial assistance for organic production practices.”

Margaret Krome, Policy Program Director, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute: “Support for rotational grazing makes sense for many reasons.  Not only does it hold water, reduce runoff, and offer an economically rewarding way to farm, but is a practical and lower-capital way for beginning farmers to enter into livestock agriculture.”

Jamie Ryan Lockman, Executive Director, Montana Organic Association: “The Montana Organic Association endorses HR 5861: The Agriculture Resilience Act.  One of the best ways to help our farmers maintain their family farms is through research that helps them understand the current weather patterns and helps Montana farmers develop rotations that can better withstand the capricious reality. Furthermore, research and programs that help protect our vital soil, water, and environmental resources are also much needed. MOA applauds Congresswoman's Pingree's recognition of the importance of sustainable organic farming to mitigate the effects of climate change and her efforts to support the viability of family farmers and the resilience of rural communities.”

Steve Thompson, Executive Director, National Center for Appropriate Technology: “American agriculture can be an important part of the climate solution. By building soil organic matter, diversifying production systems, and developing on-farm renewable energy production, America farmers are increasing the resilience of our food systems while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Rep. Pingree’s bill turbocharges these efforts by providing a full range of tools and incentives that will help U.S. farmers prosper while reducing the risks associated with accelerating climate change. The National Center for Appropriate Technology enthusiastically supports this legislation.”

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson: “There’s even more that American family farmers and ranchers can do to address the effects of climate change, and they are ready to do it. But on-farm climate solutions are often costly and require significant time and expertise to implement. The Agriculture Resilience Act would help farmers overcome those barriers and provide them with the resources, tools, and assistance they need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester atmospheric carbon in the soil. National Farmers Union is especially pleased to see provisions that would increase cost-share and research for climate-smart agricultural practices and align USDA programs with the challenges farmers are facing.”

Abby Youngblood, Executive Director, National Organic Coalition: “The National Organic Coalition applauds Congresswoman Pingree for her leadership in introducing the Agriculture Resilience Act to make the necessary federal investments to enable farmers to use climate friendly farming practices to help solve the climate crisis before it’s too late. Addressing the climate crisis facing our planet should be a top priority for Congress. Science is showing us that agriculture can be a major part of the solution to the problem, but it requires a very deliberate shift toward climate-friendly farming practices. Organic agriculture is the best example of a climate-friendly system of farming and offers the best hope for achieving the greenhouse gas reduction, carbon sequestration and mitigation goals necessary to pull our planet back from the brink of catastrophe. Congresswoman Pingree’s Agriculture Resilience Act provides meaningful incentives for farmers to shift to the use of farming practices that are already commonly required under organic standards. The National Organic Coalition strongly endorses this legislation and will work for its enactment.”

Amy Brown, Director of Food and Agriculture, Natural Resources Defense Council: “We need transformative change to truly address the climate crisis and farmers are an essential part of the solution. This bill’s focus on expanding organic farming, improving soil health, and reducing food waste will mitigate climate impacts while protecting our health and communities.”

Eric Deeble, Policy Director, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition: “NSAC is proud to endorse the Agriculture Resilience Act and wish to thank Representative Pingree for her ongoing leadership in this vital work. This marker bill represents our nation’s first piece of comprehensive legislation on climate and agriculture, and includes a host of actionable steps toward achieving net zero emissions by 2040. The tenants of this bill are fully in line with the recommendations of NSAC’s recent climate report, Agriculture and Climate Change: Policy Imperatives and Opportunities to Help Producers Meet the Challenge, and have the full support of our 130+ members nationwide."


National Young Farmers Coalition: The National Young Farmers Coalition commends Representative Pingree for introducing a bill to provide support for the many ways that farmers and ranchers can be a part of the solution to the climate crisis. “The Agriculture Resilience Act recognizes how vital supporting young farmers and farmers of color is to ensuring that agricultural climate solutions can continue for generations to come,” said Sanaz Arjomand, Federal Policy Director for the Coalition.

Emmie Theberge, Federal Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine: “Congresswoman Pingree has been a strong, unwavering champion for bold climate solutions that will help grow Maine's local economies, including our local food systems. This bill recognizes that while we need to give farmers more tools to remain strong in the face of extreme weather, they also can be part of the solution by acting as responsible stewards of the land.”

Roger Noonan, New England Farmers Union President: "Farmers are on the front lines of climate change and the Agricultural Resiliency Act provides us with more of the proven working lands programs as well as a range of new tools to bolster on-farm adaptation and mitigation strategies. The focus on research and education is the key to meet the evolving needs of dealing with climate change."

Ed Maltby, Executive Director, Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance: “The Pingree Agriculture Resilience Act tackles the practical implications of climate change facing farmers with size appropriate solutions. The Act is not about forcing regulation on farms but rather offering financial incentives to help reach the goals in addition to expanding the information base needed for successful sustainable agriculture into a future with a changing climate.”

Northeast Organic Farming Association-Interstate Council: “The Northeast Organic Farming Association-Interstate Council strongly endorses Congresswoman Pingree’s comprehensive “Agriculture Resilience Act” supporting longtime organic soil health practices such as cover-cropping; rotational grazing and composting. As farmers are increasingly impacted by Climate Change, this bill’s multi-year support for research, resilient soil health practices, farmland preservation, etc. is critical for our food supply, while also providing multiple environmental benefits including clean air and water. Supporting agriculture’s proven capacity to mitigate Climate Change via practices that sequester large amounts of atmospheric carbon in the soil is a clear contribution to the public good.”

Organic Consumers Association: “A growing coalition of consumers and environmentalists understands that how we produce food has a huge impact on our health, on the environment, and on climate stability. They also understand that for farmers to transition to organic regenerative practices they must have federal-level policy support designed to ensure their economic success. Rep. Pingree's Agricultural Resilience Act will help fast-track the policy reform farmers need to they can fulfill their role as good stewards of the land, in addition to producers of high-quality food.”

Organic Farmers Association: “The Organic Farmers Association represents U.S. certified organic farmers. Our members have been documenting climate changes on their farms for decades and in the past few years, severe weather events have been a more forceful reminder that the climate is changing. We need to not only reduce the major sources of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, but also implement policies that encourage practices that sequester carbon and support healthy soil. Representative Pingree’s Agriculture Resilience Act is a long overdue roadmap for how to make agriculture part of the solution to climate change. OFA is proud to support this bill.”

Brise Tencer, The Organic Farming Research Foundation: “The Organic Farming Research Foundation endorses the Agricultural Resilience Act (ARA, HR 5861), which would establish climate change mitigation and climate resilience in agriculture as top priorities for USDA research and conservation programs. Based on our extensive review of climate-in-agriculture research, the ARA's goal of making US agriculture climate-neutral by 2040 is achievable, and its provisions focus on the top priorities for climate resilience and mitigation: soil health management systems, advanced grazing management, public cultivar and livestock breed development for resilience and input efficiency, and establishing sustainable, organic, and conservation practices as Good Farming Practices for Risk Management programs.  In short, the ARA provides a science-based blueprint through which US agriculture and food systems can meet the challenge of the climate crisis.”

Kiki Hubbard, Organic Seed Alliance: “To address the impact of climate change on agriculture, we have to turn our attention to the first link in our food production chain – seed. Congresswoman Pingree’s H.R. 5861 will result in new public cultivars that help growers adapt to increasingly variable climates. Seed diversity is essential to building agricultural resilience.”

Laura Batcha, CEO, Organic Trade Association: “The climate crisis is an urgent issue that impacts us all, but especially our farmers. We applaud Congresswoman Pingree’s longtime leadership and her solutions oriented approach to reducing agriculture’s emissions and promoting sustainable agriculture. As an organic farmer herself she brings a unique perspective on what organic agriculture delivers to helping move our nation towards a climate friendly food and farming system. The Agriculture Resiliency Act is a transformative bill that will help farmers meet the important goal of net zero emissions within the agriculture sector.”

PCC Community Markets: “We support the Agricultural Resilience Act and believe that through the emphasis of strong soil health principles, increased funding for conservation and organic programs, and ambitious carbon reduction and sequestration goals, this bill is a comprehensive and collaborative step towards meaningful climate action in the agricultural sector,” says Aimee Simpson, Director of Advocacy and Product Sustainability for PCC Community Markets, the nation’s largest community-owned food market.

Pesticide Action Network North America: “The Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA), enthusiastically endorses the Agriculture Resilience Act (ARA). We work at the federal level, as well as in California, Minnesota, Iowa and Hawai'i, on behalf of, and together with, those most affected by the indiscriminate use of highly hazardous pesticides (e.g. farmworkers, farmers, children and Indigenous communities). We are especially enthused about ARA’s prioritization of grants that support ecologically-based pest management approaches that are effective, affordable, and environmentally-sound, maintain agricultural productivity and healthy communities, and improve climate resilience. We are also avid proponents of agroecology — a productive, ecologically resilient, equitable, economically viable and sustainable approach to farming that integrates cutting edge science with local and Indigenous knowledge and practice, and a commitment to the political approach of food sovereignty. As such, we are also very happy to see that the ARA calls for increasing set-asides in EQIP and CSP for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, and provides support for the new generation of farmers and ranchers using the full array of climate-friendly practices from the outset of their farming careers."

Hannah Smith-Brubaker, Executive Director, Pasa Sustainable Agriculture: "We've known for decades that farmers are both some of the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change, as well as key players in mitigating its effects. H.R. 5861, Rep. Chellie Pingree's Agricultural Resilience Act, offers farmers the incentives they need to both help them implement conservation practices—from improving soil health to improving grazing management—that build resilience to severe weather and enables them to be part of the climate change solution. This bold and innovative approach is just what we need, and not a moment too soon!"

Regeneration International: “By calling for the establishment of advanced grazing management on 100 percent of U.S. grazing land, the Agricultural Resilience Act recognizes and supports the potential of properly managed grazing lands to sequester significant amounts of carbon. Rep. Pingree's bill also provides support for farmers to increase their crop-livestock integration by at least 100 percent over 2017 levels, a practice that has the potential to improve soil health and ecosystem biodiversity, both of which are important climate-mitigation strategies.”

J.V. Worstell, Ph.D., Resilience Project: “Resilience Project fully endorses the Agricultural Resilience Act. We are especially enthused about the support for adaptive or management intensive grazing in the Act.  We've found nothing does a better job of sequestering carbon in the soil than mimicking the natural processes which produced the richest soils in the world--the black prairies of the Midwest and the rich chenozem in Ukraine and Russia.  We are also heartened by the support in the bill for silvopasture systems.  The potential of these systems is immense.  However, silvopasture needs more adaptive research--and that is insightfully provided in the Act through the expansion of the SARE program. These are just a few of the many sections of this Act which excite the members of the Resilience Project. The Agricultural Resilience Act also has the potential to be a constructive force internationally.  Resilience Project works in many countries in Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia which are in dire need of advice on how to combat climate change and increase resilience of their farmers.  This Act provides such guidance.”

Keefe Keeley, Co-Executive Director, The Savanna Institute: “The Agriculture Resilience Act addresses gaps in supporting farmers to address our climate crisis. By creating four agroforestry centers, including expanding the one in Lincoln NE, this bill will ensure that federal research and support for agroforestry is within-reach of many of the major farming centers of the country. These centers can coordinate the distribution of services and resources both regionally and nationally, reducing confusion about federal support for agroforestry and spear-heading demonstration initiatives. This Act also addresses another major barrier to agroforestry through its support for public cultivar research. Not nearly enough research has gone into identifying viable commercial cultivars for Midwest tree crops. While organizations such as the Savanna Institute have been taking steps to address that gap, the federal government has a major role to play in incentivizing and coordinating such research. If passed, this Act would help make widespread agroforestry across the country possible. For that reason, we enthusiastically support its passage.”

Britt Lundgren, Director of Organic and Sustainable Agriculture, Stonyfield: “Our children’s future depends on the federal government taking decisive action to put the US on course to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. At Stonyfield we know that agriculture is a critical part of the solution to climate change, and farmers need the right tools and support to make this happen.  We applaud Representative Pingree for her leadership  - this legislation is a blueprint for how agriculture can transition from being a net source of greenhouse gas emissions to being a net sink.”

Ivan Fernandez, Professor of Soil Science, UMaine Climate Change Institute: “Congresswoman Pingree’s Agriculture Resilience Act provides a critical and comprehensive approach to address the challenge of climate change by enhancing soil health, protecting farmland, investing in research, reducing food waste, and investing in on-farm renewable energy solutions. These initiatives reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the resilience of our farm and food systems. Increasing the tools for farmers to address the climate challenge with resources such as the USDA Regional Climate Hubs has never been more critical than today. Building the nation’s soil health is a win-win for the climate, human health, and the economy.”

Marcia DeLonge, the Union of Concerned Scientists: “This legislation would provide an evidence-based roadmap that leverages a wide range of strategies to protect and strengthen our food and farm system at a time when farmers and ranchers are increasingly being harmed by the climate crisis. Taking care of soil is vital for today’s farmers and the next generation. Research shows that healthier soil resists erosion, acts like a sponge to buffer farms from worsening floods and droughts, and keeps water clean. Many farmers are already finding success with a mix of cover crops, no-till, crop rotations, grazing management, and many other practices to boost soil health, but a wider transition requires much more financial and technical support. This bill will give farmers tools they need to face an uncertain future.”

Virginia Association for Biological Farming: “The Virginia Association for Biological Farming (VABF) enthusiastically supports the Agriculture Resilience Act (ARA). With climate change bringing record flooding in 2018, a flash drought in summer 2019, and fruit crops ruined by untimely spring freezes, Virginia's producers need all the help they can get to stay in business.  The ARA takes a thorough and holistic approach to the goals of making US agriculture carbon-neutral by the year 2040 and enhancing agricultural resilience to erratic and extreme weather.  We especially welcome its strong emphasis on soil health, advanced grazing management, plant and animal breeding for resilience, agroforestry, composting of organic residues, and robust funding for USDA research and conservation programming to address the climate crisis.”

Michael Reilly, Co-Founder/Executive Director, Virginia Foodshed Capital: “I would like to please communicate to Congresswoman Pingree my support for H.R. 5861: The Agriculture Resilience Act. I am co-founder and executive director of a non-profit call Virginia Foodshed Capital. We provide financial stewardship for local farms in Virginia in an effort to develop resilience for the future of our communities. H.R. 5861 is very much aligned with the mission of our work.”

Sherri Dugger, Executive Director, Women, Food and Agriculture Network: “Women, Food and Agriculture Network is pleased to see the introduction of the Agriculture Resilience Act. This marker bill represents our nation’s first piece of comprehensive legislation on climate and agriculture, and it is critically needed throughout the nation. The members of Women, Food and Agriculture Network have repeatedly expressed support and a desire to see legislation that addresses the climate crisis. This bill will complement our efforts and meaningfully help farmers, ranchers, and food producers throughout the Midwest. This legislation recognizes regenerative and organic agriculture practices as central to long-lasting policy action on climate change.”

Melissa D. Ho, Senior Vice President of Freshwater and Food, World Wildlife Fund: “While agriculture production currently accounts for almost a quarter of global, human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, the agriculture sector has the unique ability to be part of the climate solution. The Agriculture Resilience Act is an important and commendable effort to more comprehensively address the climate crisis though agricultural solutions. This bill attempts to leverage a range of programs and incentives that support win-win outcomes for producers and for nature, and sets a new level of ambition for the role of US agriculture in responding to climate change.”

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