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House Farm Bill fails farmers ready to lead on climate resilience

Last week the House Agriculture Committee released its draft Farm Bill. The Climate Land Leaders Initiative joins many agriculture, food systems and hunger relief organizations in opposing the bill. While the bill brings the remaining Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) conservation funding into the Farm Bill – a move toward more robust, long-term investment in farmer-led…

Ditching drainage destruction for riparian restoration

Wendy Johnson, an Iowa farmer and Climate Land Leaders’ Policy Co-Lead, writes with clarity and heart about the challenges of regenerative farming in corn and soybean country. Here’s an excerpt from her recent newsletter. Sign up for her newsletter at Joia Food & Fiber Farm. One thing I love about Iowa is being able to…

“For right now and for future generations”

Throughout 2023 and as Farm Bill drafting and negotiations continue in 2024, Climate Land Leaders have been voicing their support for a Farm Bill that prioritizes climate, meets farmer demand for conservation, and grows resilient farms and rural economies. As one said, federal conservation programs are “for right now and for future generations.” Climate Land…

An intergenerational passing of the baton

Climate Land Leaders Maggie McQuown and Matt Vermeersch of Red Oak, IA, recently shared their (ongoing!) story of what Maggie calls an “intergenerational passing of the baton” – their process of transitioning stewardship of the land from one family to another. Maggie McQuown and her husband Steve Turman own Resilient Farms. Matt and Jocelyn Vermeersch…

Taking tangible steps

This story was originally shared in the February 2024 Illinois FarmLink newsletter. Illinois FarmLink, a program of The Land Connection, provides farmland access services (including free advising) to farmers and landowners across Illinois. Illinois FarmLink helped make this farmland connection between the Harbecke and Kanchwala families happen in Kane County last year. Rozina Kanchwala is…

Coppicing hazels: Insights from Nine Hazels Farm

Climate Land Leaders Paul and Sanna Mairet of Nine Hazels Farm grow 12 acres of hybrid hazelnut, a cross between the European hazelnut and the native American species. As a perennial crop, hazelnuts have an extensive root system, which increases water infiltration, soil organic matter and carbon sequestration – and the shrubs provide shelter and…

Which organizations do you support that center BIPOC communities?

Which nonprofit organizations do you support that center Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities? We asked Climate Land Leaders that question, and here’s the list. Check out these groups doing wonderful heart work: 1619 Freedom School All Square Appetite for Change BIPOC Foodways  Dream of Wild Health Ear Hustle podcast Honor the Earth Indigenous…

Vegetable farming in the era of climate change

Climate Land Leader and farmer Dan Guenthner of Common Harvest Farm recently shared observations on climate change impacts over 35 years of vegetable farming. Following is a lightly edited version of Dan’s comments on the cohort call. To place ourselves: We own 40 acres in the St. Croix River Valley, south of Osceola, WI. This…

A year-end tribute to soil

How important soil is to life! 95 percent of our food comes from soil. It is a natural resource that needs to be protected way more than it is today. Making soil takes years and requires practices that aren’t yet adopted by most farmers. The demand on soil for food production for humans and animals…