Building Ag Production Resilience To Survive Severe Weather Events
Weather extremes cause financial stress that can break farm and ranch operations. Widespread flooding or drought on any given year robs producers of crops to sell while pushing up prices for livestock feed, if it’s even available.
Dr. Laura Lengnick, author of “Resilient Agriculture, Cultivating Food Systems For a Changing Climate,” says agricultural practices and policies are adapting to address severe weather events. Regardless of the debate over what is driving climate change – or whether it is even occurring – many industries are looking at ways to remain viable during and following extreme weather, she explains. Agriculture is an industry that is at high risk when drought and flooding become more frequent and intense.
As a soil scientist, Lengnick has traveled the world to find out what is, and what isn’t, working for farmers and ranchers who manage all types and sizes of operations. She has shared her knowledge with businesses, higher education, government entities, and farmers.
Lengnick spoke at three RMFU-sponsored events held in Colorado this past week. She focused on the topics of weather extremes, building resilience into agricultural production at all levels and in all sectors, and growing a food system that uses local and regional strengths. In addition to using economic and technology tools, communities can build assets using social and natural tools that are often overlooked yet readily at hand, she notes.
She says key resilience practices are already being employed by some Colorado producers. These include building soil health, improving water management, tapping diverse high-value markets, and embracing biodiversity such as cover crops in rotational use.
Colorado producers will be able to learn the details of two key programs in the 2014 Farm Bill at a series of meetings to be held by the Colorado Farm Service Agency and sponsored by Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Farmers Union Service Association, county Farmers Union chapters, and local agents. Farmers will be able to make a choice between Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). This will be a one-time decision that will affect them through the length of the Farm Bill. Both programs are intended to... Read More
Colorado producers will be able to learn the details of two key programs in the 2014 Farm Bill at a series of meetings to be held by the Colorado Farm Service Agency and sponsored by Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Farmers Union Service Association, county Farmers Union chapters, and local agents. Tuesday, November 18 Sterling, 8-11 a.m. at the Northeastern Junior College, Hay Student Center Ballroom Burlington, 2:30-5:30 p.m. at the Community Center, 340 S. 14th St. Wednesday, November, 19 Lamar, 8:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community College Auditorium,... Read More
Follow This Link to Register for Convention! http://www.eventbrite.com/e/rocky-mountain-farmers-union-convention-tickets-13913007179 By Kent Peppler It has been said the world is run by those who show up. That’s not quite true. Showing up is important, but it is not enough. The world is run by those who show up, stand up, and speak out. Trust me, if you don’t say what’s on your mind someone else will do it for you. You cannot expect them to have your best interests as their priority. In just a few days farmers and ranchers will get... Read More
A simple name change from Re:Vision International to Re:Vision reflects the commitment of cofounders Eric Kornacki and Joseph Teipel to cultivate a thriving community from the ground up. They are enthusiastically encouraging residents of this urban neighborhood southwest of downtown Denver to create their own economic opportunities by using their own hands. Today, Re:Vision (revision.coop/) is focusing on building a community food system, empowering residents to discover and develop their own leadership abilities, and creating community-owned cooperatives. “The co-op model really is the way of imparting community ownership and sustainability,”... Read More
REGISTER TODAY! Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from two nationally recognized leaders in community wealth building during two keynote speeches and from many local leaders during fourteen breakout sessions. You can read full session descriptions on the conference website here. We will start the day with Ed Whitfield, co-managing director of the Fund 4 Democratic Communities based in Greensboro, North Carolina. Ed will launch our day by laying the foundation for why community wealth building strategies are key to a healthy democracy and share examples of communities that are making tangible progress with... Read More
Kyle Bradley has been appointed as General Manager of Farmers Union Service Association (FUSA) by the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union board of directors. He will succeed Beckie Harkey, who will retire at the end of the year. Bradley has been FUSA’s production manager for the last two years. “Bradley will use his experience and vision to continue strengthening FUSA’s reputation as a leading insurance company in our region,” says Jan Kochis, who chairs the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) board of directors. “We are happy to have someone with such... Read More
Here are a few things to think about What does a verimiculture operation in Hawaii, a cow-calf ranch in Montana, a wheat farm in South Dakota, and the owner of a CSA venture in Colorado have in common? A lot, it turns out, once they get around a table and begin sharing their concerns. National Farmers Union’s Beginning Farmer Institute has brought together an amazing variety of producers from coast to coast, from across the nation’s heartland, and from vast ranches to urban gardens. The transition from one generation of farmers... Read More
Beginning farmers and ranchers want to view agriculture as a professional career, one that delivers an income and a way of life connected to the land. Too often, beginning farmers feel like agriculture is like entering a maze with lots of dead ends to go down in a quest to find the their way to success. For beginning farmers who are trying to negotiate the maze, three leading area of focus top their list: one is access to land; two is access to capital; and three access to guidance... Read More
By Kent Peppler, President Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is a busy farm organization. We have a lot of irons in the fire requiring our attention 24/7, 365 days a year. We are a diverse organization with many interests and responsibilities including youth camps, our Young Fellows program, food policy, development of cooperatives, insurance operations, and a ton more. When I decide to write my opinion on a subject it is not uncommon for me to intellectually throw a “make believe” dart at a target full of different subjects that Rocky... Read More