By Tom Driscoll, NFU Director of Conservation Policy and Education
At the 2016 National Farmers Union (NFU) convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, NFU members established that the organization should “lead efforts to help educate family farmers, ranchers and rural communities about how to adapt to the effects of climate change on their respective operations” and “support efforts for the advancement of carbon storage in the soils of family farmers, ranchers and agro-foresters.”
Some people may be surprised that a family farm organization would make such a strong statement on climate change, but they shouldn’t. Farmers take seriously their role in global food security, and NFU understands that climate change poses enormous challenges to continued expansion of access to ample, nutritious food domestically and abroad. Our concerns are captured in USDA’s 2013 report, Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptations, which states that, by midcentury, climate change “is expected to have overall detrimental effects on most crops and livestock.”
However, the report also notes “The vulnerability of agriculture to climatic change is strongly dependent on the responses taken by humans to moderate the effects of climate change.” Farmers maintain vast potential to build climate resilience in food systems by adapting to and mitigating climate change. Please stay posted here on the NFU blog for recurring posts that will help connect farmers to the resources they need to make climate-smart decisions for their operations, and keep the public informed on the challenges farmers face protecting food security through the hazards of climate change.
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