Unapologetically Rural: Clean Energy

“The biggest issue on climate right now is that there is no awareness. We need to let people know.” Those words from our annual report came from Arlyn Schipper.

Last March Arlyn Schipper, a conventional grain farmer in Grundy Center, Iowa, took part in an event we hosted in a nearby town church hall. Our conversation focused on the threat climate change poses to modern agriculture. Until last year Arlyn didn’t believe in climate change. Six months later he was asking a room of 75 rural citizens to take action.

What happened? Arlyn began to take seriously the message of stewardship. In the Center for Rural Affairs, he found a like-minded organization willing to help him put those thoughts into action.

In 2014 our team helped rural and small-town leaders just like you translate support for clean energy into actions that make a difference. Your feedback helped us find common ground with clean energy transmission developers and helped farmers like Arlyn identify ways to protect their operation in the face of changing climate.

Whether you are one of 1,000 who stood up in favor of the Clean Power Plan or one of 100 who attended our coal-to-clean energy community discussions, you played a critical role.

Opportunities for action will continue into next year as your state makes an important decision about the way energy is used and produced in the future. We look forward to working alongside each of you to make sure the end result includes the clean, affordable options that help make our rural communities strong,

Highlights of 2014

  • Over 1,000 comments demanded action to address climate change from the federal government.
  • Communities and landowners from 6 states worked with us to overcome critical siting and routing concerns in 8 clean energy transmission projects.
  • Through 6 successful climate forums in 6 states, our network of Rural Climate Stewards grew. Nearly 400 voices asked elected officials to support climate action.
  • In 3 Nebraska communities, over 100 public power officials, community leaders, and concerned residents came together to plan for a coal-to-clean energy transition.
  • We hired a new staff member in Iowa to build the capacity of rural advocacy organizations in the Upper Midwest.

Read more success stories in our 2014 Annual Report.

Feature image: Our staff joined other organizations in the Midwest by creating “photo petitions.” Johnathan Hladik advocates we #ActOnClimate for healthy farms.