blueberries and cherries

Climate Change & Conservation News

Agriculture

Female Farmers
Pixabay

Empowering women farmers and landowners to protect their land and embrace conservation

American Farmland Trust recently featured this article in their eNews and linked some of its points to work they are doing to be more inclusive and focus on healthy soils, farm/ranch viability, and climate change. Is that something you or your land trust finds interesting? If so, you could do the same.

“The future of agriculture is increasingly female.

43 percent of U.S. farmland —nearly 388 million acres— is now farmed or co- farmed by women. Many of these women have a strong conservation ethic and are deeply committed to healthy farmland, farm families, and farm communities.

But women face gender-related barriers to managing their land for long-term sustainability…”

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Calf
Pixabay

Accelerate regenerative agriculture

American Farmland Trust recently featured this article in their eNews and linked some of its points to work they are doing to be more inclusive (Women for the Land Initiative) and focus on healthy soils, farm/ranch viability, and climate change. Is that something you or your land trust finds interesting? If so, you could do the same.

Farmers and ranchers manage nearly one billion acres of the land in the United States — working lands that can serve as a natural carbon sink by drawing down atmospheric carbon dioxide and storing it in plants and soils. However, these working lands face threats from land degradation because of historical and common farming practices. Over time…

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No Till Farming
Jason Johnson, USDA NRCS Iowa

Tillage: an overview

Over time, tillage wreaks havoc on the health of the soil and all of the critters that support a flourishing and productive farm ecosystem...

Tillage is defined as the mechanical manipulation of the soil for the purpose of crop production affecting significantly the soil characteristics such as soil water conservation, soil temperature, infiltration and evapotranspiration processes.

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Tomatoes
Judy Anderson

Some thoughts on no-till farming

Climate change messaging focuses on shared values and providing solutions. The Taos Land Trust has leaned into communicating about climate change, community conservation, and landscape protection. There isn't just one solution; regional differences will be a factor.

It is time to learn a new way of farming, or perhaps an old way — a way that nature has been trying to teach us since the beginning.

But first, you may be curious why tilling is such a problem. Over time, tillage wreaks havoc on the health of the soil and all of the critters that support a flourishing and productive farm ecosystem…

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Happy Farmers
Rachel Leathe/Bozeman Chronicle

American Farmland Trust calls on the Biden administration to protect and conserve 30% of working farmland and ranchland to achieve 30×30

It would be helpful if you shared on social media and reached out to your representatives to say how much you support the 30 x 30 effort — and to let them know it's important that they help counter misinformation. American Farmland Trust has a good post you can read here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, American Farmland Trust released “Agriculture’s Role in 30×30: Partnering with Farmers and Ranchers to Protect Land, Biodiversity, and the Climate” outlining agriculture’s critical role in the effort to “conserve at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030” as put forth in the Biden administration’s January 27, 2021, Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. AFT’s recommendations make it clear that we urgently need to both permanently protect five percent of vulnerable working lands from being converted to development and support landowners’ voluntary efforts to implement conservation practices on an additional twenty-five percent of working lands, particularly in biodiversity hotspots, key connectivity corridors and areas with high carbon sequestration potential.

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Solar Panels
BTLT

Crystal Spring Farm Community Solar Project

Are you looking for examples to demonstrate support for "compatible" renewables? This might be something you could emulate in your region.

For the [over] 25 years BTLT has owned and managed Crystal Spring Farm, a 331-acre property dynamic in its agricultural impact, community programs, recreational opportunities, and ecological value. As BTLT staff and resources have grown, so has our capacity to manage the many aspects of this incredible property…

Capacity: 78.65 Kilowatts (KW), 286 photovoltaic solar panels, 275 watts/panel

Host: Crystal Spring Farm, with concurrence of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (landowner).

Participants: Crystal Spring Farm plus seven other Brunswick families without access to solar electricity where they live.

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Western Meadowlark
Evan Barrientos/Audubon

Conservation Ranching: Empowering consumers to make a difference in grassland conservation

“Grassland birds have suffered an unparalleled decline over the past half century, stemming from widespread development of North America’s grasslands. This calls for Audubon’s action. To combat the negative effects of grassland degradations—and to keep grass on the landscape—Audubon has developed the Conservation Ranching Initiative. This market-based conservation approach offers incentives for good grassland stewardship through a certification label on beef products. For the first time, consumers can contribute to grassland conservation efforts by selectively purchasing beef from Audubon-certified farms and ranches…”

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Announcing Screenshot

Largest market-based regenerative grasslands partnership in the U.S.

This partnership will restore habitat and combat climate change on one million acres of working ranchland. Other groups are working to help farmers and ranchers connect farm viability, economic support, and climate-smart actions.

Panorama Organic Grass-Fed Meats to certify one million acres of wildlife habitat with the National Audubon’s Conservation Ranching Initiative.

The Audubon Conservation Ranching Initiative seeks to enhance the stewardship of grasslands for the benefit of birds. Birds have suffered significant decline over the past 50 years due to loss of U.S. grasslands to widespread development.

This initiative empowers consumers to support programs that restore bird populations via conservation practices by selectively purchasing beef nationwide from Audubon-certified farms and ranches, including Panorama Organic and other participating brands. The Audubon certification seal carries broad market appeal among consumers who care about the environment.

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Solar Panels And Tractor
Judy Anderson

Solar siting on farmland: lessons learned from across the northeast

We need to transition to renewables as soon as possible to save the lands and waters we all care about. That means a lot of renewables—and they can't all be installed on rooftops and brownfields. With farms going out of business, renewables can help them stay in business if they are done well. You can help people know what that means.

Are you interested in how farmland viability and solar can work together? Would you like to be able to share examples of projects that improve soil health, farm diversity, and stem the loss of farmland? You might be interested in watching American Farmland Trust Northeast’s recent webinar focusing on Connecticut policy opportunities and the various policies in the northeast.

Across the country farmland is being lost at an alarming rate: 2,000 acres of agricultural land are converted every day. With the push to transition off fossil fuels, solar development could take more out of production. But it doesn’t have to be that way. States could invest in elevated, compatible solar that could help farmers and ranchers stay in business and keep the land in production.

See what your region can glean from this webinar. There’s a window to lead on this.

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Cows
Pixabay

Kilby Farm protected by a conservation easement proactively addresses climate change

Yes, agricultural easements can help farmers/ranchers deal with climate change and agricultural viability.

As a conservation organization, Cecil Land Trust takes the threats, challenges, and opportunities presented by climate change seriously. Educating the community about climate change means a better response more quickly for our community.

​The Kilby Farm methane digester converts greenhouse gas methane, produced from cow waste and organic products, to green energy to run the farm…

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