Environment

Land, air, water, and the ability to grow food is essential for all communities. Rural communities, however, have an especially intimate connection and are disproportionately impacted when the environment is harmed. Farm and community leaders need a voice in discussions about the best ways to foster a healthy environment.

Conservation, practical on-farm efforts, agricultural innovation, a clean energy economy, energy efficiency, and strong regulations on carbon pollution are among common-sense solutions. These efforts also set a conscious course to ensure clean air and water, resilient and sustainable food production, and health for future generations.

We are called on to be good stewards. It’s time to protect the places we call home, the resources we depend upon, and the way of life we cherish.

Environment Notes

 

Take the Next Step NPPD!

The coal-fired power plant north of Hallam, Nebraska, Sheldon Station, will undergo a partial transition from coal to an exciting and innovative power generation technology. Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), which owns and operates the plant, plans to replace one of the existing coal-fired boilers at Sheldon Station plant with one that uses hydrogen fuel. This is great but it’s a ‘job half-done.’

Rural Americans as Climate Champions

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to spend about 18 months in Tanzania - a country in East Africa where about 80 percent of the population relies on farming as a primary occupation. One day I was relaxing in the lobby of a YWCA and struck up a conversation with a young Tanzanian man who came from a farm family in the nearby foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. He described how his community relies on annual snowmelt from the mountain to provide drinking water and to irrigate their crops. He also described how, year after year, the snowcap on Kili was shrinking and causing a corresponding decrease in food and water security. What would they do, I asked, when the snowcap disappeared altogether? I will not forget the look on his face as he responded, “we don’t know.”

Practical Guide to Common Sandhills Conservation Practices now available

The Sandhills of Nebraska is the largest sand dune formation in the Western Hemisphere, spanning almost 20,000 square miles. In addition to its geological importance, the region also serves as home to a significant community of birds and various species at risk, and provides grazing habitat for cattle. These factors create a unique opportunity for conservation efforts designed to address priority resource concerns on area ranches while simultaneously delivering environmental and economic benefits.