Farmers Provide Hope for Our Future

Last week the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Fifth Assessment Report, consisting of three previous working group reports and a new synthesis report here

Viewing the report through an agricultural lens, there is an underlying theme that in essence says what we already know. We must adapt to a changing climate; we must sequester more greenhouse gasses; we must produce more with even greater efficiency; and we must utilize greater amounts of renewable energy.

While the reports raise major concerns and challenges, they also affirm that all hope is not lost and that there are steps that can be taken to adapt and thrive in the new lower carbon economy that is emerging. This will be the focus of the new North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance that 25x ’25 helped launch earlier this fall.

The North American Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance is a platform for knowledge sharing and application of climate science to agriculture. The Alliance will enable farm leaders and their value chain partners to collaborate in developing ways to improve the resiliency of production systems and mitigate present and future risks from changing climatic conditions. The Alliance will advocate solutions for agricultural landscapes, under variable weather and climate, which will maintain sustainable productivity of food, feed, fiber and energy and ensure the integrity of our natural resource base.

A number of key farm, commodity and conservation groups have signed on to play a leadership role in the initiative including the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, Western Growers Association, National FFA Foundation, American Farmland Trust, United Soybean Board, Ontario Farmers Federation, National Association of Conservation Districts and the Soil and Water Conservation Society.

25x’25 is pleased to join in this ongoing effort to improve resiliency of production systems because we believe it is critical to achieving the 25 x’25 goal. We invite other interested groups to join in this collaborative effort that will take tangible steps to address one of the most multi-faceted and pressing challenges of our time.

Which brings us back to agriculture and a hopeful future. There is no other sector that has the experience of working under changing weather conditions, managing many types of risk, or with the level of ingenuity and innovation than agriculture.

There is no other sector that approaches those conditions at the start of each growing cycle or new year with a measure of great confidence. That’s agriculture’s secret weapon.

There is no other sector that emerges victorious with the products, services and solutions time after time than agriculture. As we regroup after the elections and digest another report of great consequence—we do so with confidence that we can move forward into the future having hope for prosperity and security.

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