The Rural Climate Dialogues

Climate change offers an opportunity to engage differently with rural communities in a way that focuses on solutions rather than assigning blame. Instead of trying to “sell” climate policy to rural communities, we must engage organizations and leaders rooted in rural areas in the development stage to identify solutions that work for them. As important, we need community-level engagement tools designed to overcome our current toxic political environment and map out rural-appropriate responses to climate change that feed up into policy and concrete action.

Agricultural Finance for Climate Resilience

U.S. agricultural financial policy and institutions, both public and private, have not yet adapted to climate change. Instead, Congress responds to more frequent extreme weather events with larger and increasingly frequent ad hoc disaster payments and increasing subsidies for private crop insurance from taxpayer funds. These short-term responses are not sustainable fiscally, economically or environmentally. 

Revisiting Crisis by Design: Land tenure

Increases in farm debt, bankruptcies and land values have far outstripped farm assets and income, making it increasingly difficult for farmers to hold on to their land. Corporate and investor-owned land has doubled since the 1980s, and the number of farms owned by corporations and investors rose by nearly 10% between 2012 and 2017.

Revisiting Crisis by Design: Introduction

As we enter a new decade, farmers are once again in crisis. Stories in the news point to rising bankruptcies in the dairy sector and the chaos in commodity markets created by Trump’s trade skirmishes. Presidential candidates are getting an earful from farmers and rural communities, and new ideas are on the table.