Case studies reveal unique approaches to addressing climate change in rural areas


By Kayla Bergman, former staff member

According to a 2019 survey conducted by the Center for Rural Affairs in Iowa, 91 percent of rural Iowans are “very or extremely concerned” by climate change affecting their lives. Of those individuals having an elevated concern level, many are taking steps to address it. 

The climate leaders in these case studies have taken action in their own ways. 

The first case study features Mark and Connie Tjelmeland. They have been farming near McCallsburg, Iowa, for almost four decades. After 20 years of selling eggs to nearby stores and markets, the Tjelmelands retired their egg operation. Today, they produce corn, soybeans, oats, and hay with an extended rotation system.

“I am concerned about the ways that changing climate will affect my grandchildren and future generations,” he said. “I see conservation practices as a moral choice, but also a practical one.”

The other case study features a mother-daughter duo from Mediapolis, Iowa. Meredith and Jen Hinson own and operate a sustainable floral business—Clara’s Garden. 

“We want the next generation to visit and to put their hands on and to have something there to use—with climate change, we are all going to have to adapt,” Jen said. “I am seeing the effects, even with my floral garden being planted so late this year due to excessive rain and flooding.” 

These two features of climate leaders are just a small sample of the actions that can be taken to address our changing climate in rural America. Visit our Climate page for more information.