Over the past three months, we’ve heard many of you speak your thoughts on climate and agriculture. You have shared common-sense ideas to make rural America more adaptable and resilient in an era of more extreme weather and climate changes – on your farms, in your businesses, and in your communities. You care about conservation and good stewardship, and you’ve found that renewable energy is an economically viable solution.
For many of you, climate is already on your mind. For others this is a new topic that you are interested in learning more about. Some may even be skeptical that climate change is happening, or that it’s human caused.
That is why we’ve been busy organizing discussion panels this spring in Iowa, Colorado, Montana, and Minnesota. We want to build awareness, listen to your experiences, and discuss common-sense actions to address climate change that we can engage in together.
These panels feature perspectives from people just like you. Conventional and organic farmers, ranchers, faith leaders, scientists, small business owners, and tribal leaders all offered their experience in their fields, classrooms, and spiritual communities.
Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing some of the information that came from these meetings. For those who are unsure about the science, we’ll explain it in a way that’s easy to understand, and we welcome your questions! (Send them to us now, and we might include them in the article. Just email email@example.com.) We’ll talk about climate from a faith perspective, share ideas from farmers and ranchers about what they’re doing to make their operations more resilient.
We’re also asking you – what things are you doing to save money on your farm or ranch? What about building soil in your garden, conserving water in your yard, or using less electricity in your house or business? What ideas do you, and your rural neighbors, have that can help to save money AND reduce our carbon footprint?
You know how to get your hands dirty, and you know how to work hard. You also know how to care for your communities and be good stewards. This is a moment that calls for rural leaders!
Adapting to the impacts of a changing climate is important. Doing our part to cut greenhouse gas emissions that fuel its progression is also critical. This is a pivotal moment to address this issue, and your voices and expertise are key components to the climate conversation.
Feature image: Moderator Jim Dontje, Director at the Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation, asks for attendees’ questions in St. Peter, MN. | Photo by Lauren Kolojejchick-Kotch, firstname.lastname@example.org