Farm tractor

More and more, farmers see how our changing climate threatens their livelihoods and know that they can help mitigate those risks. Their situation isn’t easy, though, and both farmers and non-farmers need better information.

If you want just one piece to read, check out Virginia Gewin’s article in Civil Eats (December 2018), “Farmers Know Climate Change is Real. Will the Feds Help them Adapt?” As Gewin notes, “There are a number of reasons – from the currently dismal farm economics to land ownership to neglected conservation programs – why any conversation about climate change is still mostly talk, and little action.” And, she writes, “The missing link is specific, practical advice able to improve bottom lines and protect fields.” Her article does an excellent job elucidating the first of these topics for non-farmers and, for the second, offers good resource links for farmers.

These farmers want to help with climate change. But they need practical advice on doing it. Click To Tweet

Then, if you are interested, add this story by Bryce Oates, also in Civil Eats (July 2018), “In Farm Country, Grappling with the Taboo of Talking about Climate Change.” Oates surveys the situation, focusing in part on the contrast between the Farm Bureau’s hands-off stance and the more informed engagement of some individual farmers and other farmers’ organizations.

For a good story about what an individual farmer faces from floods and heat and what he is trying to do, read this December 2018 Guardian article: “As Climate Change Bites in America’s Midwest, Farmers are Desperate to Ring the Alarm.” (Note that this story predates the big floods of March 2019.)

To learn about on-the-case organizations, start with the Climate Change Policy Brief from the National Farmers Union, which represents family farmers, fishers and ranchers and supports conservation practices it says can often help mitigate climate damage. Then look at this 2017 piece in Food Tank, which highlights “25 farmer-led and farmer-focused organizations working in the U.S. who are committed to supporting the goals of the Paris Agreement and working towards them.”

This series is curated and written by retired Colorado State University English professor and close climate change watcher SueEllen Campbell of Colorado. To flag works you think warrant attention, send an e-mail to her any time. Let us hear from you.

Topics: Food & Agriculture