Environment

Rural communities have an abundance of natural resources and often have an intimate connection to them, whether economic or cultural. Elevating the voices of rural people in discussions about their environment is a crucial component of the work we do at the Center for Rural Affairs. Any discussion about the best ways to foster a healthy environment must include a robust public dialogue that involves rural Americans in decisions about their future.

Advocating for strategies to address climate change, facilitate the adoption of clean energy projects, and encourage the conservation of our soil and water resources are just a few ways we help promote stewardship in rural communities. 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 of our environment, and we advocate for changes to protect the places we call home, the resources we depend upon, and the way of life we cherish. Empowering rural communities positions them to leave behind a natural legacy that can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Environment Notes

 

Building Climate Resiliency

"Building Climate Resiliency" is a series of four fact sheets that focus on building rural resiliency in the face of climate change. These are a part of the Center for Rural Affairs' climate project focusing on elevating the stories of rural climate leaders.

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Rural Electrification 2.0: The Transition to a Clean Energy Economy

Rural America faces a conundrum in the expanding development in renewable energy. Many rural areas in the country are providing the infrastructure for a clean energy future through transmission lines, wind turbines, and utility-scale solar. But, much of the power itself is not used locally in rural communities. Many rural communities are dependent on the energy resource mix of their rural electric cooperative. Nationally, these cooperatives derive 67 percent of their energy from fossil fuels.

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Red Fern Farm builds resiliency through diversification

Tom Wahl and Kathy Dice, owners of Red Fern Farm, have built resiliency in their operation to overcome challenging weather.

Nestled in a heavily wooded area just south of Grandview, Iowa, Red Fern Farm offers a unique experience for customers to harvest their own Iowa-grown fruits and nuts.

The owners grow a variety of fruit and nut trees—including chestnuts, persimmons, heartnut, pawpaw, and Asian pear. Their primary market is a “you pick” business throughout the summer, where customers schedule a time to pick from the trees and pay per pound harvested.

Top 5 of 2019: Iowa farmer shows conservation and economics go hand in hand

Countdown time! With less than one week remaining in 2019, a recap is in order. Starting today through the end of the year, we'll review the five best Center stories of the year, chosen by the most views on our website.

Number five features a piece authored by Kayla Bergman and Kate Hansen. They interview Mark Tjelmeland who has farmed alongside his wife near McCallsburg, Iowa, for almost four decades. Together, they prioritize our natural resources and climate through various conservation practices. The blog was posted in September.