NEBRASKA -  The United Nations is targeting Nebraska’s largest business. 

According to Bloomberg, the UN Food & Agriculture Organization plans to unveil a first-of-its-kind global food systems roadmap at its annual climate summit this week. The report is expected to urge western nations to reduce meat consumption. 

That has Nebraska Farm groups pushing back. 

“Well, I think it’s kind of ridiculous," said Nebraska Farm Bureau President Mark McHargue. "I think we actually have, the UN has poor information especially regarding agriculture and livestock agriculture.”

McHargue isn’t saying producers can’t do better. He thinks the UN is targeting a small slice of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. 

“To argue that we should reduce our meat intake is a tiny, tiny sliver and go after that specifically, just seems misguided to me,” McHargue said.

UN FAO Director Dr. Kaveh Zahedi said their message is simple. 

“Agriculture and food systems have a central role to play in tackling climate change," Zahedi said. "Agrifood system solutions can help countries with their efforts to adapt to climate change, to build resilience to climate change, to mitigate emissions, to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in 2021 that agriculture generated 10% of the country’s greenhouse emissions. 

The guidelines expected to be shared at the climate summit aren’t law, but represent a shift in global thinking that could threaten Nebraska’s nearly $12 billion livestock industry.

McHargue said beyond possible economic damages, diet changes could have health impacts.

“If we talk as a whole that we need to reduce the meat intake of our diets, I think it will be tough in our nutritional needs especially in those that don’t get enough food to start with,“ McHargue said. 

McHargue said the Nebraska Farm Bureau doesn’t overlook the climate conversation.

At their annual convention next week, he said there will be speakers addressing the issue.