Farmers know better than anyone about dealing with the ups and downs of weather. But production agriculture is currently in peril due to hostile and radical weather patterns brought on by climate change. The crisis is upon us. But on behalf of the Iowa Farmers Union, we confidently assert that farmers are more than victims of the problem. We are the leaders of positive change.
The new report from the United Nation’s climate change body dives into the science on agriculture, land use and global warming, and the findings are both chilling and motivating. Because while agriculture is in the crosshairs of floods, droughts, and heat waves brought on by climate crisis, farmers also have a tremendous opportunity to make their farms and rural communities more resilient by adopting climate-smart solutions.
Conservation efforts and other environmentally friendly farming practices not only mitigate harmful climate changes, they also protect and restore water quality across our state, a long-standing priority for IFU. In addition, these practices can boost the long-term bottom line for farmers by enhancing soil health.
By cultivating local food systems, we can make sure there’s a nearby demand for Iowa farmers’ products, cutting down on shipping costs (and associated emissions) as well as food waste. In addition, local food dollars circulate within our rural communities rather than being exported into the multi-national consolidated agribusiness framework.
By supporting local family-sized livestock farms, we encourage climate-friendly practices which enhance our resources and contribute to the long-term sustainability of our communities.
Climate change cannot be meaningfully addressed without Iowa family farmers being a central part of the solution. Policies to encourage and incentivize climate-friendly farming practices will not only lead to climate change mitigation, but will improve soil health, protect our environment, and make our rural communities more resilient.
To learn more about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or to view their report, click HERE.