Climate Change, Resilience and the Future of Food

Climate Change, Resilience and the Future of Food

Headed to Little Rock at the end of this week to keynote the Southern SAWG​ annual conference! It is great that SSAWG decided on the theme “Agricultural Resilience in a Changing Climate” because it is past time for us to come together as a community to figure out what we already know and what we still need to learn about how sustainable agriculture practices can reduce climate risk and capture new opportunities associated with climate change.  

I will explore the rapidly evolving landscape of agricultural climate solutions in my keynote and lead a workshop on cultivating climate resilience on your farm or ranch. Looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones in Little Rock – hope to see you there!

Learn more and register for the conference here. 

Southern SAWG focuses attention on issues and differing perspectives around food production, marketing, and distribution, and brings sustainable solutions to farmers, families and communities in the southern U.S.  SSAWG functions as a regional entity, working with and through hundreds of associated organizations across 13 southern states.

Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association Keynotes to Explore Barriers and Opportunities for Transforming the Food System

Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association Keynotes to Explore Barriers and Opportunities for Transforming the Food System

I’m heading to Dayton, Ohio in February to share keynote responsibilities with Eric Holt-Giménez, long time executive director of Food First – an organization that has challenged my thinking and inspired some of my best work over the years – at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association‘s annual conference.

Eric and I will explore the barriers and opportunities for transforming the food system to restore the damage done by global industrialism and produce well-being for all people and the planet. This transformation is already on the ground and growing throughout the U.S. and beyond, thanks to sustainable farmers (and those that support them) who have been busy over the last 40 years innovating our resilient food future. 

My thanks to Public News Service​ for this shout out about my work and my keynote at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association​ Annual Conference next month! 

Eric Holt-Giménez is an agroecologist, political economist, activist, and author. From 2006-2019, he was the Executive Director of Food First, where he worked to end the injustices that cause hunger, build a global movement for food sovereignty, and advance agroecology and sustainable food systems.

Find out more about the conference here!

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) cultivates a future in which sustainable and organic farmers thrive, local food nourishes our communities, and agricultural practices protect and enhance our environment.


Cultivating Resilience Heads to Virginia, Arkansas and Ohio

Cultivating Resilience Heads to Virginia, Arkansas and Ohio

As my winter quiet comes to a close, I am looking forward to several gatherings of “susties” over the next two months. First up: I head to Roanoke VA this weekend to share keynote responsibilities with my good buddy (and long time shero!) vegetable farmer, author and teacher Ellen Polishuk at the Virginia Association for Biological Farming annual conference.

Ellen (pictured above) is a farm consultant, writer and workshop leader. She takes her 35 years of biological vegetable farming experience to help growers around the country. Ellen is the co-author of Start Your Farm, and writes the farmer to farmer profile column for Growing For Market magazine.

I’ll be speaking about climate change, resilience and the future of food and teaching a workshop on tools for the climate-savy farmer’s climate resilience toolbox. I’m also scheduled for fireside chats (love this!) on Sunday and Monday.

Speaking at the VABF conference is really special for me – I got started on this fascinating journey in sustainable agriculture doing my master’s research way back in the early 1980’s on an organic grain farm in the Northern Neck near Fredericksburg. Looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones this weekend. Hope to see you there!

Learn more about the conference and how to register here

VABF encompasses a community of farmers, gardeners, homesteaders, students, teachers, researchers, and general supporters of local and sustainable food systems! Find out more about VABF memberships.

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.  

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.


Our Farms, Our Future Podcast Features Laura Lengnick and Don Teske

The latest episode of SARE’s Our Farms, Our Future podcast series features Laura Lengnick, a soil scientist and founder of Cultivating Resilience, LLC, a consulting firm that offers ecosystem-based climate risk management and planning services. Lengnick speaks with Don Teske, a fifth-generation farmer in northeastern Kansas who is currently transitioning from cropping to cattle grazing on his farm. They discuss the valuable role of the family farmer in a sustainable food system.

Check out the podcast here