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Young Farmers
MARTIN ADOLFSSON

Farmers on the front lines of climate change

Is your local land trust able to support and elevate research opportunities around climate solutions between farmers/ranchers and other groups? These projects show examples of people taking initiative. Check out this one, and see what might work in your area.

Housed at Stone House Farm in Columbia County, NY, Hudson Carbon is emerging as one of the most ambitious testing grounds for carbon farming in the country. Soon to launch an e-commerce carbon offset market—with Stone House as its pilot—Hudson Carbon’s ultimate goal is to enable regional farmers to receive just compensation, not only for carbon sequestration practices, but for a full range of ecosystem services.

It employed a set of complementary regenerative agriculture practices with the goals of reducing tillage; maximizing soil cover to enhance photosynthesis; increasing beneficial insects, plant, and microbial biodiversity; improving nutrient cycling; increasing water efficiency and infiltration; integrating pastured animals; and increasing carbon stock above the soil level through agroforestry techniques…

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tulips
Creative Commons

Cultivating communities where people and nature thrive together

This is an interesting organization that is using an integrated farm project as a tool for change and action. Land trusts across the country could emulate and incorporate some of these ideas into their partnerships and land conservation strategies.

The Community Ecology Institute (CEI’)s Climate of Hope project includes three innovation areas, described below: 1) Climate Aware Agriculture featuring Renewable Energy Integration; 2) Cultivating Climate Victory Gardens; and 3) Community Climate Change Education…

Climate of Hope will offer accessible, science-based, action-focused climate change education for the community. [They] offer eight community events at [their] farm on a range of topics from climate victory gardening (and the associated carbon-capturing practices), to composting, energy efficiency, community solar, and more.

[They] also offer customized offsite presentations to eight diverse community organizations including HOAs, faith organizations, school groups, and businesses. These events will be designed to inspire participants and provide strategies and tools for sustained positive climate action.

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Cows

Healthy Soils Grant

There are opportunities to help position farmers and ranchers as part of the climate solution. If your local land trust works with agriculture, now's the time to start thinking about this.

A $2 million grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has been awarded to the Vermont Land Trust to help farmers implement practices that enhance the health of their soils. The Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) Program and the On-Farm Trials of NRCS stimulate the adoption and evolution of innovative conservation approaches in partnership with farmers.

The Vermont Land Trust, Biological Capital, and the University of Vermont Extension will work with approximately 25 conserved farms to create, implement, and evaluate practices that enhance the health of soil, including its ability to store carbon. This is the only Vermont-based project to receive CIG funding…

The Vermont Land Trust will provide project oversight, work directly with farmers, and manage…

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accolades

Kiss the Ground

Regenerative agriculture, sometimes called conservation agriculture, is part of the climate solution—and the food solution. I find the farmer who leads much of the discussion to be a very credible messenger.

A cure for climate change starts with a simple solution right under our feet. Kiss The Ground is now streaming on Netflix, and the exclusive, live Q&A with Gisele Bündchen, Woody Harrelson, and Ian Somerhalder, plus the filmmakers, farmers, and activists behind the regenerative movement, is right here.

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Ag On A Rainy Day
USDA

New revenue option for ag producers to yield attractive returns

The Climate Trust will provide cash to help land trusts purchase no-till grassland conservation agreements from farmers and ranchers. This will make the lands eligible for the carbon market.

Oregon ranchers Dan and Suzy Probert grow cattle and healthy soil. And with the help of Farm Bill programs, they’re protecting the Lightning Creek Ranch from development as well as finding new revenue options like carbon trading markets…

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Farmland Low Sun
Creative Commons

Smart Solar Siting for New England: free webinar series

While focused on New England, there are many transferable concepts in this series that you and your land trust might appreciate.

Join American Farmland Trust, Acadia Center, Conservation Law Foundation, Vote Solar, and Vermont Law School for a four-part webinar series, as we share outcomes from our joint two-year project seeking to reduce conflicts over the siting of solar facilities…

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Old Farm
Creative Commons

Farms under threat

Farmland is a critical resource in our country, particularly in areas that are heavily forested or developed. American Farmland Trust recently released the Farms Under Threat report, documenting those challenges.

Farms Under Threat is AFT’s multi-year effort to advance cutting-edge solutions for farmland protection. We use high-resolution spatial analysis tools to identify exactly where agricultural land has been converted to urban and low-density residential land uses, and we have done a deep analysis of every state’s policies for protecting farmland and ranchland, promoting agricultural viability, and helping transfer land to the next generation of farmers and ranchers.

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Solar And Ag
Hyperion Systems, LLC

Farmland and Compatible Solar Webinar Series

You and your land trust don't have to host all the programs nor be an expert in climate change to make a difference. Instead, you can share information to help inspire those around you. American Farmland Trust has a number of very interesting webinar discussions for you to share.

Farmland is a critical resource in our country, particularly in areas that are heavily forested or developed. American Farmland Trust recently released the Farms Under Threat report, documenting those challenges.

Yet climate change is the most significant threat to conservation we have ever faced. Rather than remove forests, many are locating solar fields on agricultural lands. Can it be done well? Yes.

Find out how in this webinar series focusing on smart solar siting, balancing solar siting with conservation, growing the solar market, and turning state and local priorities into sound policy. While this is focused on New England, there will be many transferable concepts for wherever you are located.

Webinars are free and running on September 23, September 30, October 7, and October 15. 

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Bumblebee Two
Pixabay

Climate change puts bees and flowering plants out of sync

You and your land trust can help your community understand the necessity of acting on climate to save the bees—including the importance of solar developments that are designed as pollinator habitat.

Warmer spring temperatures are causing bees to hatch earlier, putting them out of sync with the flowers that they pollinate, a new study shows.

The researchers say the study is the first of its kind to show climate change affecting the sort of relationships between species that have evolved together over millions of years…

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Solar And Sunflowers
Engie Distributed Solar

Michigan opens 3.3M farmland acres to bee-friendly solar projects

Recognizing the increasing compatibility of solar with rural land conservation, Michigan recently amended its farmland preservation rules to allow solar development on protected farmland, provided that the solar project met the state’s pollinator-friendly standards...

Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday announced an executive decision that frees up 3.3 million acres of farmland protected under the state’s Farmland and Open Space Program to solar development. Previously, the land was allowed to host wind turbines and oil and gas exploration, but solar was historically restricted because it was considered to have a larger footprint…

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