Climate Risk Management Workshops in October

Climate Risk Management Workshops in October

I’m looking forward to working close to home next month with farmers, technical advisors, researchers and eaters of all kinds at three events based in the Carolinas.  First up is the Carolina Meat Conference in Charlotte next week. Near the end of the month, I’ll teach at the Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Durham.

Butchering Demonstration from the 2019 Carolina Meat Conference

Close up of a Steer at the 2019 Carolina Meat Conference

The Carolina Meat Conference is a nationally recognized event, specifically focused on bringing together every part of the meat supply chain. Farmers, chefs, butchers, and industry leaders convene for two-days of unparalleled networking, hands-on training, and technical and business assistance.

The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) is a farmer-driven, membership-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps people in the Carolinas grow and eat local, organic food by advocating for fair farm and food policies, building systems that family farms need to thrive, and educating communities about local, organic agriculture.  

Practical Farmers of Iowa Field Day at the Rosmann Family Farm in Harlan

Practical Farmers of Iowa Field Day at the Rosmann Family Farm in Harlan

I am looking forward to catching up with Resilient Agriculture farmers Ron and Maria Rosmann in just a few weeks.  Ron and Maria have invited me to open the field day by sharing some of the lessons I’ve learned from sustainable farmers and ranchers about how to cultivate climate resilience with sustainable and organic agriculture.  

I will share three simple lessons to help frame the field day events:

  1. Resilience is about more than bouncing back!  It is about design and management of systems to cultivate the capacity to avoid or reduce damage from disturbance.
  2. Resilience has regional roots!  What I mean by this is that “it takes a region to raise a resilient farm.”  We need each other – the producers and the eaters – to cultivate resilience.  No one farm can do it alone!

We already know enough to put us on the path to a resilient food future!  The Rosmann family, and many others like them all across the country, have been busy for the last 30 years bringing the future into being. This farm, and many others like it all across our country ARE THE FUTURE of food.  We don’t need any more research, any more studies, any new technologies – the future is already right here – you are standing in it.

Bouncing Forward or Bouncing Back?  A Look at Resilient Options for Response to Midwest Flooding

Bouncing Forward or Bouncing Back? A Look at Resilient Options for Response to Midwest Flooding

Looking forward to spending time with Michelle Miller and company at the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems next week to discuss how resilience thinking might help us envision bouncing forward from the Midwest flooding rather than simply bouncing back! 

Find out more information about the event here!

The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) is is a research center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The goal of our work at CIAS is to learn how particular integrated farming systems can contribute to environmental, economic, social, and intergenerational sustainability.


A Farm Beginnings Collaborative Visit with Farmer John

A Farm Beginnings Collaborative Visit with Farmer John

Enjoyed spending a day earlier this week at the Angelic Organics Learning Center​ sharing some Resilient Agriculture teaching tips with educators in the Farm Beginnings Collaborative and getting a tour of Angelic Organics led by Farmer John, followed by conversation over wonderful dinner featuring local food at Bushel & Peck’s Local Market​ in South Beloit IL.  The collaborative works together to offer a unique farmer-training program in 14 states that is farmer-led, community-based, and focused on sustainable agriculture.

The tour of Angelic Organics checked off an item on my aggie bucket list!  John Peterson AKA Farmer John led and tour of his greenhouse and field operations, as well as, several beautiful buildings illustrating biodynamic design and construction.  

 John Peterson is the subject of the beautiful 2005 documentary “The Real Dirt on Farmer John,” an epic tale of a maverick Midwestern farmer. John made history through melding his family tradition of farming with the power of art and free expression to become a national model the resurrection of small-scale farming in America. Through highly personal interviews and 50 years of remarkably textured footage, filmmaker Taggart Siegel shares Farmer John’s haunting and humorous odyssey, capturing what it means to be wildly different in a rural community.

If you have not seen this film, get thee to a streaming service, invite some ag/foodie friends over, and watch as soon as you can!

Thanks for a great tour, John!

Climate-Resilient Agriculture Initiative Featured at the Glynwood Climate Convening

Climate-Resilient Agriculture Initiative Featured at the Glynwood Climate Convening

Headed to the Hudson Valley later this week to release the results of a year-long project led by Cultivating Resilience, LLC and funded by Scenic Hudson that explored the potential for land conservation organizations to promote climate resilience through voluntary conservation incentives:  The Climate-Resilient Agriculture Initiative.

From Scenic Hudson, photo credit: Robert Rodriguez, Jr. 

I’ll open the day-long workshop by sharing results from the Initiative, and will help facilitate a discussion about practical pathways to a climate-resilient Hudson Valley agriculture.  Check out more about the workshop here

Scenic Hudson has long been considered a leader in safeguarding the Hudson Valley’s irreplaceable landscapes — including the region’s productive family farms — while advancing balanced and sustainable development, and protecting our land, air and water from pollution and other threats.

Keynote at MOA Conference: Why Think Resilience?

Keynote at MOA Conference: Why Think Resilience?

Headed to Independence, Missouri this Wednesday for the 2019 Mid-America Organic Association​ Conference.  The theme of this year’s conference is “Cultivating Resilience.” I’ll open the conference with a keynote on Thursday morning, teach three workshops on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and host a climate listening session on Saturday.  Looking forward to learning a lot and being inspired by all the great workshops, meeting some new friends, and catching up with old friends like Resilient Agriculture farmers Ron Rosmann of Farm Sweet Farm LLC​ and Gail Fuller of Fuller Farms and G & L Whole Food​ –  both are scheduled to teach at the conference.

Check out more about the workshop here