Winter 2024

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NACSAA Members in Action

Welcome to NACSAA News, a quarterly compilation of CSA-related developments. “NACSAA Members in Action” features the latest on our partners’ activities; “Featured News” offers some of the biggest CSA-related stories of the past quarter; “Other News We Are Reading,” is a listing of news stories from other sources we think you will find of interest; and “Partner News and Events” offers the latest partner updates. We hope this newsletter will serve to keep you, your members and other constituencies fully engaged in the growing development of climate-smart agriculture policy, programs and practices. Your feedback is welcome and appreciated. To subscribe, click here.

Climate Summit Address Agriculture and Food Systems

The critical importance of agriculture in the context of climate change was clearly seen late last year last month in Dubai at the COP28 global climate summit.

The highlight of COP 28 for many NACSAA members was the adoption of the Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems and Climate Change by over 150 countries. This was the first-ever declaration on the “profound potential of ag and food systems in driving innovative responses to climate change and unlocking shared prosperity for all.” The Declaration addresses global emissions while protecting the lives and livelihoods of farmers who live on the frontlines of climate change. 

 

On top of that, the Food and Agriculture Organization – the United Nations food agency – issued a landmark roadmap to align the global food system with efforts to limit average global temperature rise to manageable levels. On the margins of the negotiations, SfL President Ernie Shea spoke with Kaveh Zahedi, director of the FAO’s Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment Office  about the need for open and active engagement of farmer organizations in developing and implementing FAO’s FAST and Roadmap to 1.5° initiatives. Zahedi acknowledged this concern and pledged to seek better farmer and private-sector engagement.

 These significant steps, however, do not automatically translate into immediate actions. The broad goals first need to filter through the UN bureaucracy and the on-the-ground policies of member nations. But non-governmental organizations, universities, scientists, and many farmers and businesses are already moving forward.

Still, there is potential for clashes. Changing the way the world eats is fraught with difficulties, arguably as difficult as changing how the world produces energy. Rising food prices can bring down governments. Farmers can be a powerful political lobby in countries as diverse as India – which did not sign the Declaration. Changing food habits can be tricky, and the global agricultural commodity trade is huge and influential.

The FAO framework for instance would mean cutting food waste by half and methane emissions from livestock by 25 percent by 2030. It would also require planting a more diverse range of crops than the staples that dominate global agriculture. In countries of sub-Saharan Africa, the FAO model would seek to increase agricultural productivity. In North America, food experts said, it would encourage less consumption of meat and dairy, which contribute to emissions.

Large food companies had a significant presence at the summit. Multinational corporations sought government support for new technologies. American dairy exporters sought to tell a “positive story” about their industry. The North American Meat Institute, which sent its representatives to the summit to emphasize “the role of animal agriculture in driving sustainability and food security solutions,” sponsored a panel to promote the nutritional value of animal protein.

Ultimately, road maps – and the extent to which they are followed – is up to national governments. That’s where the Declaration comes in. It commits countries to including agricultural emissions in their next round of climate targets, in 2025. At this point, it does not include targets or timelines, or prescribe specific policies.

NACSAA members amplify farmer voice at COP28

 

Many farmers and agricultural organizations were disappointed that 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) failed to include a clear vision of how countries around the world could help guide their farmers now to increase production in a climate-smart way.

The Farmers Constituency of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) hoped and expected that COP28 would build on the progress of COP27 and develop a clear roadmap beyond process and into implementation of sustainable and resilient practices. The failure to do so slows the momentum toward a global agriculture model that addresses most of the UN Sustainable Development Goals – not just the climate aspects of agriculture. This setback postpones further discussion until the Bonn Climate Change Conference, June 3-13. Several NACSAA members will be there to reinforce the need to forge consensus on a way forward.

While many believe COP 28 made clear the critical importance of agriculture in addressing climate change as never before, there is still a long way to go. For example, UN Climate Change High-Level Champions released a Call to Action for Transforming Food Systems for People, Nature and Climate that not only failed to include farmer voices and perspectives around the world, but even left out terms such  “agriculture” and “farmers” in favor of “food system” and “front line actors.”

The theater-related reference prompted AG Kawamura – a California farmer and co-chair of Solutions from the Land (SfL) – to respond on behalf of the UNFCCC Farmers Constituency, urging leaders to reconsider their wording and agriculture’s role.

“Farmers are not actors on the stage of humanity,” he said. “Farmers have built the stage that allows humanity to exist and act out the tragedy, drama or enlightenment of our existence.” Agriculture, in all of its many dimensions and forms, he added, “produces that supply, day after day, against a long list of challenges, disruptions and misunderstandings by those who often feel entitled to have access and control of it and its distribution.”

Kawamura also spoke of the impasse in work to construct a roadmap for the Sharm el-Sheikh joint work on agriculture. He said farmers need to work now to produce more food with less impact on the climate, at a time when high-level officials are mired in bureaucratic details.

“While global farmers of all sizes pursue their seasonal harvests and continue their transition to more sustainable and resilient practices, we need support and assistance from this body and other UN platforms” he said. “We need Civil Society Groups and the Private Sector to support and assist in our progress and transition. The Farmers Constituency encourages the delegations to engage with a renewed sense of urgency, recognizing that the timeline to build more climate smart and resilient global food systems cannot wait for a perfect plan. We need progress, not more discussion. After all, successful agriculture sustains civilization.”

There was plenty of opportunity for such engagement during panel discussions and other side events at COP28.

NACSAA members brought a farmer-centric approach – ensuring that farmers could participate in ways that not only meet climate outcomes, but also deliver multiple solutions to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – from climate action and eliminating hunger to decent work/economic growth and responsible production and consumption.

Farm Journal Foundation hosted a discussion on climate change, food security, and global stability, with an introduction by U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, the Executive Managing Director of CGIAR – an international agriculture research consulting group – emphasized the role of science in meeting future food and climate challenges.

“With science, we can reduce the carbon footprint of food systems and design them to be sustainable, resilient and equitable, while at the same time enhancing food and nutrition security,” he said. “But to unlock the full potential of innovation, the global community must increase its investments in climate and agriculture R&D.” The foundation also hosted a separate panel on climate change and global nutrition.

Another panel, “Securing Sustainable Harvests,” focused on what growers need for long-term climate resilience, and was sponsored by Syngenta/BASF. The panel included Petra Laux, Syngenta’s global head of business sustainability. Syngenta also was represented by Grazielle Parenti in an SfL-sponsored panel on “Circular Bioeconomy Systems for Concurrently Delivering Agroecosystems Services and Food & Nutrition Security.”

“The Missing Perspective: Engaging Farmers in the Climate Conservation,” sponsored by the U.S. Dairy Export Council, featured comments from Alex Peterson, a dairy farmer from Missouri who serves as USDEC chairman; and Kawamura, from SfL. USDEC also sponsored a panel on “Cultivating Soil Health for Sustainable Food Systems.”

A panel on “Investment in Livestock System Climate Change Adaptation Measures as Well as in Climate Mitigation” was sponsored by the Meat Institute and Protein PACT, and co-organized by IICA and ILRI.

Shari Rogge-Fidler, an SfL delegate and president and CEO of Farm Foundation, said the informal as well as formal conversations with a range of COP28 attendees allowed her to understand many perspectives, and to share her own

“Connecting these conversations in the global context at COP 28 was encouraging, to see the hard work of collaboration and understanding during a time when the world is in conflict and polarized. Although the process is slow and complex, I value the structures and processes to enable global collaboration and to have farmers there to elevate our perspectives.” 

Sammi Landsman, an SfL delegate and first-time COP attendee who also is a Climate Smart Agriculture Policy Consultant for the FAO, said she had expected “to see oil lobbyists and politicians, but actually I saw an amalgamation of community organizers, activists, youths, indigenous people, farmers and NGOs. While the high-level meetings may get the press, it was actually in the side events where I found myself most inspired and hopeful for a future on this planet. It is one thing to hear repeated false promises from the governing structures we so desperately turn to for action; it is an entirely different thing to connect with, learn from and yearn to embody the spirit and activism of ordinary people doing extraordinary work.” 

 

 

Bridgeforth addresses World Food Forum on agriculture-data policy goals

International leaders brought together by the United Nations do not typically have agriculture backgrounds – yet they make decisions that affect agricultural policy at national and global levels.

Kyle Bridgeforth, a fifth-generation Alabama farmer who grows cotton, corn, soybeans, wheat and canola, provided these leaders with a boots-on-the-ground perspective of agriculture as Solutions from the Land’s (SfL) farmer envoy to the FAO’s CFS 52 in Rome in October. He spoke about SfL’s 14-point, farmer-centric policy guidance on the use of agricultural data.

“There are very big markets, entire continents, that have different perspectives on technologies, different ways they want their food processed and handled, different expectations for their citizens,” Bridgeforth said of the forum. “It was eye-opening to see how many different food systems there are in the world.” Consensus, he says, is good thing overall.

“It’s laborious. It’s time consuming, and it can be frustrating,” he adds. “But I think a large level of consensus makes everyone feels represented. Large-scale farmers in the U.S. get a lot of attention because they can quickly adjust acreage and have a big impact economically, but internationally you see a big focus on rights and considerations of small shareholder farmers,” Bridgeforth said. “That’s a part of the U.S. demographic that sometimes goes overlooked but one that I think could drive recruitment into agriculture.”

Featured News

Producing power from cow poop: A Florida dairy aims to reduce climate impact of cattle

A California company sees large dairy farms in Florida as fertile ground for biodigesters.

California-based Brightmark, which considers itself to be “on a mission to reimagine waste,” focuses on two main areas: anaerobic digestion and “proprietary plastics renewal technologies.” Since its founding in 2016, Brightmark has embraced partnerships with dairy farms – converting methane from manure into bio-gas. In California, where digesters can receive credits for reduction of methane emissions as well as credits for replacing fossil fuels, the company has had success.  

There are over 330 anaerobic digesters on farms across the country, with about 30 in Florida, a state that is home to many large dairies. Another Florida dairy added digesters this past summer. Larson Dairy Inc., north of Lake Okeechobee, has digesters on four of its farms – processing manure from 12,000 cows – through a partnership with Brightmark, which paid most costs of installation and operation on the farms.

“We commit our manure supply to Brightmark, and they take the manure supply from there,” Jacob Larson told the Miami Herald.

Miami Environmentalists and climate change experts, who have long criticized the cattle industry over pollution problems, have plenty of questions and concerns about the trend. But Larson, a third-generation Florida farmer, sees it as a big step unimaginable possible a few years ago: His dairy waste supplements the state’s energy supply and can perhaps even become a valuable product of its own.

It’s not a pretty sight. A spray system regularly wets down the manure with water to liquefy it in the dairy barn. The brown stream flows down a ditch into a concrete reservoir. From there, pipes take it into the heart of the system, an “anaerobic digester” lagoon. From above, the digester consists of large black tarps spread over what looks like a mound. But underneath, it functions like an insulated, oxygen-free underground bunker. Manure goes through four chemical reactions as bacteria feed on it. Depending on the temperature and amount of nutrients in the manure, Brightmark says it can take days to weeks for “bio-gas” to form, cleaned and processed.

After processing, what’s left of the manure is run through a rotating composter that squeezes out water and remaining solids. The dried leftovers, stored in piles, and the remaining liquid are used as fertilizer on the farm.

“It’s like recycling, that’s the beauty,” said Rishi Prasad, an environmental science professor at Auburn University who is not affiliated with Brightmark but has studied the process involved. “You are basically recycling manure on the farm for energy, for feeding the plants like corn, and then that corn would go back to feeding the dairy cows.” The whole world is not going to stop eating beef, drinking milk or eating pizzas, said Prasad, who studied anaerobic digesters as part of his PhD research at the University of Florida. “But we need to think about how we can make the food production industry more sustainable and reduce emissions so we can buy more time.”

“The mission for us is to re-imagine waste and really look at better ways to create environmental benefits associated with the things that we waste,” Bob Powell, CEO of Brightmark, told the Miami Herald. “I definitely think the project with the Larsons is a flagship project and one that people can point to.” He calls it a win-win: Bio-gas creates a new use, and potential revenue stream, from a former waste product. “We’re going to be offsetting on an annual basis 57,000 tons of CO2 equivalent out of the environment,” he said, adding that it’s the equivalent of planting over 75,000 acres of forest each year

Till, there are skeptics. At Auburn, Prasad said the systems also are not “silver bullets. “I don’t think this falls under a carbon-negative scenario,” he said – though it does reduce the amount of methane going back into the atmosphere by recycling it.

Ruthie Lazenby, who focuses on energy law and policy at UCLA, said the digesters deal only with the solid emissions from cows – not the burps and flatulence that account for 95 percent of cows’ methane emissions.

Other criticisms note that creating a new methane market from dairy farms will encourage expansion of larger farms even though the digesters manage only a small portion of methane emissions. Already, the market for digestors is focused on large dairies. Smaller digestors are used on many farms that generate energy for on-farm use, rather than commercial markets.

 

Midsize dairies in Northeast embrace digesters

 

Generating energy by getting rid of manure is an idea gaining interest in many places around the United States. In Maine, several dairy farms are aggregating manure from a collective 5,000 cows for processing in the state’s first dairy digester. Summit Utilities in Clinton, in Central Maine, extracts the gas for Peaks Renewables, and the remaining liquid returns to the farms as fertilizer.

 

In Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorialized on the benefits of the state’s “cow patty industry,” arguing that biodigesters may reverse the dairy decline and add to the economic viability of 13 dairy farms in and around Indiana County, about 40 miles east of Pittsburgh. The editorial called for state incentives to promote new called biodigesters, which separate animal waste into component parts, including methane. Pennsylvania dairy herds have declined by 12 percent in the past 10 years.

The biodigester east of Pittsburgh will be operated by a French industrial gas company, Air Liquide. It will collect manure from 6,000 cows across 13 farms, extract the methane, and send solids back to the farms for use as bedding, and the liquids for fertilizer. The methane is sent to a Peoples Natural Gas pipeline and distributed to area homes and businesses — “similar to the natural gas collected by fracking, but with less environmental disturbance” the editorial stated.

Besides the financial benefit to dairy farmers, biodigesters offer climate benefits as well: The resulting gas produced is cleaner than other fuels, and also qualifies for carbon offset credits. These can be more valuable than the gas itself, because they’re sought after by companies looking to counteract their emissions.

Meet the Climate-Defying Fruits and Vegetables in Your Future

 

 

A changing climate threatens some of our favorite plants in many different ways. Table grapes rotting on vines amid flooding in California. Apple crops scorched by too much sun. Pests migrating for the first time to once-safe lettuce fields.

Fortunately, changing technology has shortened the time it used to take to develop new crop varieties for the new conditions. But ultra-modern molecular gene-editing technology is just one of the tools in the toolbox. Another set of tools comes from the past: vast global collections of seeds have been conserved for centuries, saving varieties of crops no longer in common use, but which may have characteristics beneficial in today’s changing environment. Gene editing can more quickly breed these characteristics into modern varieties.

Among the emerging prospects cited in a New York Times article: Heat-tolerant potatoes from South America for use in hot and wet U.S. climates; cherries that can thrive even in warming climates; resilient melons with deep roots that draw water from the soil, cauliflower bred with white curd that doesn’t discolor in sunlight; white cabbage that can thrive even in drought, and that needs less nitrogen fertilizer.

Sweet commercial carrots are being crossed with wild ones that are more resistant to drought and can thrive in salty soils. Plants with hairier leaves are being developed to discourage insects. A new avocado variety is being bred to grow on slender trees that require less water and a new apple variety is being bred for hotter climates.

When a cauliflower is mature, its green leaves open and expose the white head, called the curd. That curd is extremely sensitive to sunlight — too much, and it can turn spotty and beige, which means it won’t sell at the grocery store. To prevent this, farmers fold the leaves back over the curd by hand about two weeks before harvest, an expensive and time-consuming practice.

Texas A&M’s Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center, with funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, has released two new melons — the Supermelon and the Flavorific — whose deeper root systems have been bred to handle drought by pulling more water from the soil. Tasters report that the melons are sweet, with dense flesh, and have just been made available to farmers.

Potatoes like a consistent, moderate water supply and prefer cool weather. But because of climate change, researchers at the University of Maine, with funding from USDA and the potato industry, are looking to South America, where potato cultivation began around 8,000 B.C., and to heat-tolerant varieties in the American South for genetic traits that can help spuds survive excessive heat and floods.

Of course, robust growth in a changing climate is not enough. The new fruits and vegetables also have to taste good.

“You can use these technical solves to find climate solutions, but they won’t be useful if it’s not what people want to eat,” said Michael Kantar, an associate professor at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa who studies wild relatives of existing crops. A few of these new varieties are already in grocery stores, while others are still on the drawing board.

Consumers have yet to develop a taste for Kernza, the environmental “wonder grain”

Kernza is a wheatgrass with a nutty, graham- or rye-like flavor. Sometimes called a “wonder grain,” it requires very little nitrogen fertilizer because its unusually long roots soak up nitrogen that would otherwise seep into groundwater. It’s an “eco-crop” that has a lot of benefits but, so far, not much of a market.

Dan Coffman is one of more than 50 farmers around Minnesota who grow Kernza. Still, only about 1,400 acres of it are produced in the state. That’s more than any other state, but it’s small — not much more than the state’s acres of berries. It’s a boutique grain. A 5-pound bag of Kernza baking flour costs $30 at Northfield-based startup Perennial Pantry, which Coffman sells to.

Nonetheless, the market for Kernza may be moving more quickly than soybeans – which is a dominant crop today, but took 80 years to get to that point, according to Alexandra Diemer, business development director of novel supply chains for the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute in Crookston, Minn.

“Its root systems are insane,” she said. “That’s why it’s such a star. It’s like, 10 feet deep compared to two feet deep.”

The Institute and other advocates are seeking Kernza markets – such as artisan bakeries, breweries, and distillers in central Minnesota. There is a Forever Green Cookbook with Kernza recipes, and General Mills’ Cascadian Farm brand makes a Kernza cereal with honey oat clusters.

The nonprofit Land Institute in Salina, Kan., started developing Kernza 20 years ago, and the University of Minnesota’s Forever Green is developing it too, along with more than a dozen other alternative crops such as a perennial flax. The University released the MN-Clearwater Kernza variety in 2019, the type Coffman and most Minnesota farmers grow. It plans to have a new second variety to release to seed companies next fall, for 2025 planting.

The goal is to enlarge the grain’s seed head, get a hull that releases from the kernel more easily and breed a shorter plant less likely to fall over in the field. They want to sustain Kernza yields and stop them from declining after two or three years in the field. Hunter is confident the U’s 15-year Kernza breeding program will improve the grain’s yields and lead to greater adoption.

“At this point I will have all of my 2023 crop in storage with no market available to me,” said Coffman, who farms acres near St. Peter, in South Central Minnesota. He still has half of his 2021 Kernza crop – and all of his 2022 crop – in storage.  He decided to plant only 10 acres of Kernza next year, down from 30. But he’s not giving up on Kernza.

The state has developed programs to encourage production of and markets for the crop. The University is doing extensive breeding work intended to sustain Kernza yields. It also has added Kernza to an incentive program that pays farmers to grow alternative crops. The Environmental and Economic Clusters of Opportunity is funded through the state’s sales tax-financed Clean Water Fund, which prioritizes farmers in drinking-water management areas. And the state legislature has appropriated $500,000 for grants to develop a supply chain and markets for continuous-living crops such as Kernza.

A growing constellation of STAR farmers began in Illinois

 In 2017, two Central Illinois farmers wondered how they could encourage neighbors to find new ways to prevent nutrient runoff from fields and improve soil health. 

“We were just kicking around ideas for a roadmap for conservation practices,” Joe Rothermel said. “Say a farmer wanted to try conservation practices: What would we tell them? Make a list of all the practices that would work best in this area – almost a prescription. It recognizes farmers for their practices – but there is also an education part of it. My goal was to provide information to farmers who wanted to try this.”

 

“We had no vision of building something that would even go across Illinois,” Steve Stierwalt said. “We wanted to do Champaign County. But we found a lot of interest. My personal ‘why’ was discomfort at seeing that we were not getting done what was needed. Joe came up with the STAR acronym. Having a name that tells people what we’re hoping to do is important.”

STAR stands for Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources, and over the past six years, the farmer-led, science-based, flexible, and voluntary conservation strategy has had growing success among farmers across Illinois. Now it’s being embraced in Colorado and other states are planning to join the fold. In September, STAR announced its national launch, with Colorado as the first among state and regional STAR Affiliate organizations.

Caroline Wade, STAR National executive director, said the road to conservation and change “is not a linear path. We need a better system that works for farmers.”

Wade, who has also worked for the Illinois Corn Growers Association and the Ecosystems Services Market Consortium, has been with STAR off and on almost since its inception. And she is adamant that the initiative be centered on the farmers: Activities in each state and region will be overseen by farmers; incentives must go directly to farmers, to the benefit of their goals for their land.

At the core is the STAR “tool” – which is not a seed drill or a hay rake, but a simple registration form. The “Field Form” that farmers fill out for each field they enroll includes a five-year crop-rotation history, diversification plans, and the planting and termination options for cover crops – using science for solutions.

Guidance for Illinois STAR is provided through the Champaign County Soil & Water Conservation District, which has assembled a 14-person statewide steering committee and named a nine-member Illinois STAR Science Advisory Committee. The steering committee oversees operations, while the science panel determines the goals, challenges, and standards – the key characteristics and concerns to be addressed in different parts of the state, and how progress is measured.

In Illinois, the program is largely driven by the goals outlined in the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy developed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. In Colorado, the focus is more on building soil health. Each state and region may have different drivers, but will have many of the same guiding principles and practices.

There also are incentives to encourage farmer participation. Many benefits of conservation-farming will accrue over time and there is a possibility of lower yields during the transition. STAR works with partners that will pay farmers to make long-term changes.

For example, registration recently ended for an Illinois Soybean Association program to pay farmers a minimum $250 incentive – and up to $2,400 – for planting cover crops in the season before growing non-GMO soybeans. The offer included a $250 bonus for farmers who already implement cover crops, and a $30-per-acre bonus (up to 80 acres per farmer) for using cover crops in fall 2023 or fall 2024. There are other partners, public and private, providing incentives to farmers in Illinois and other states.

Another benefit of STAR is the awarding of stars displayed on signs. An evaluation system assigns points for management activities each year, and the sign may mean bragging rights – or a challenge to do even better next year. Farmers’ management of crop rotation, tillage, nutrient applications, and use of conservation practices lead to an overall field score. STAR’s local science committees assign the highest point values to practices identified to address local resource concerns. Scores are converted to a STAR rating of 1 to 5 STARs, with 5 STARs indicating commitment to a suite of practices proven to improve soil health and water quality.

The stars are awarded to individual fields – not to the farmer or the farm. This underscores the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all conservation model, and that every field has unique characteristics.

Even though a primary goal is to reduce nutrient runoff, STAR doesn’t measure runoff. Nor does it judge progress by yields. Natalie Kerr, coordinator of Illinois STAR, explained that the focus is on the conservation methods, with the expectation of steady, incremental change over the years. Steady outreach and a simple, easy-to-use process are keys to engaging farmers.

Other News We Are Reading

Adam Grady was not a stranger to no-till and cover crops when he met consultant Allen Williams in the spring of 2016. But he was skeptical. His father had done no-till and later strip-till for years on the coastal plains of North Carolina, but initial benefits stagnated and yields dropped. By 2015, the farm ended tobacco and cover crops and focused on a pasture-hog operation. A few years later, a pastured-protein wholesaler, Joyce Farms, wanted to work with Grady, but wanted him to get recommendations from Understanding Ag and the Soil Health Academy. Williams pushed a return to cover crops, and Grady started with five acres, then 60, and then the whole 1,000 acres. The new regime was more methodical. Grady has learned it’s not the practices alone that make him successful. The key is managing with soil-health principles in mind and, more specifically, applying them in a way that is catered his operation and the characteristics of his land. His new approach is profiled in Successful Farming.

The annual number of disasters around the globe has increased four-fold since the 1970s, rising to about 400 disaster events per year in this century, according to a new Food and Agriculture Organization report, “The Impact of Disasters on Agriculture and Food Security: Avoiding and Reducing Losses Through Investment in Resilience.” That puts agriculture at risk. It defines disasters as “serious disruptions to the functioning of a community or society” – mostly natural disasters: drought, flooding, extreme temperatures, and storms – but also man-made: civil unrest, regime change, interstate conflicts and civil war. Any of them can put agriculture at risk. The report seeks to mitigate disasters by organizing and disseminating available knowledge on the impact of disasters on agriculture, and highlights three needs: improved data and information on the impacts of disasters in agriculture; developing multisectoral and multi-hazard disaster risk reduction approaches into policy and decision making; and investments in resilience to provide benefits in reducing disaster risk in agrifood systems.

Partner News and Events

Seize the opportunity to attend the Canadian Federation of Agriculture’s annual conference

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) is taking place from February 27-28, 2024 at the Delta City Centre Hotel in Ottawa, Ontario. This year’s theme is Seizing Opportunities: Canada’s Growing Role on the World Stage – examining some of the pressures facing our sector from a variety of perspectives. The event will bring together farm leaders from across Canada to set the priorities for our sector over the coming year. With over 250 attendees, the AGM is an excellent opportunity to network and have dialogue with important figures in Canadian agriculture.

The AGM will feature four workshops, with some running concurrently, on February 27: Farm Financial Health; Data and Agriculture; Cybersecurity and Agriculture; and Trade and Non-Tariff Barriers. There also be two panels: Supply Chains and Agriculture, and Live with Real Agriculture Radio: Geopolitics and its impact to Canadian Agriculture. For registration and more details, click here

Save the date for Biogas Americas annual conference and trade show May 13-16

The American Biogas Council event is the biggest biogas and renewable natural gas conference and trade show in North America. This year, it will take place in Savannah, Georgia, from May 13-16. Details are still emerging. Click here for information about sponsorships, exhibits, registration, and programs.

ABOUT NACSAA

About NACSAA

The North America Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance (NACSAA) is a farmer-led platform for inspiring, educating, and equipping agricultural partners to innovate effective local adaptations that sustain productivity, enhance climate resilience, and contribute to the local and global goals for sustainable development.

NACSAA reflects and embraces all scales of agriculture in Canada, Mexico and the United States, ranging from small landholders to midsize and large-scale producers. NACSAA encourages climate smart agriculture (CSA) strategies to enhance the adaptive capacity of North American agriculture to changing climate conditions and works to achieve this goal through three complementary strategies: 1) sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and livelihoods (i.e. sustainable intensification); 2) enhancing adaptive capacity and improving resilience; and 3) delivering ecosystem services, sequestering carbon, and reducing and/or avoiding greenhouse gas emissions.

North America Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance (NACSAA)

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