Policy for the Climate

Climate Land Leaders implement changes on their land, such as reducing fertilizer and tractor use, planting trees and restoring prairie and wetlands. They know, however, that we will not have a livable future without robust climate-focused federal, state and local policy.

Climate Land Leader Maggie McQuown is an Assistant Commissioner for the Montgomery County (IA) Soil and Water Conservation District.

Climate Land Leaders participate in that policy debate, including:

  • Hosting legislators on their farms.
  • Contacting elected officials about conservation matters.
  • Serving on policy-setting local and state committees.
  • Writing editorials, letters, blogs and posts on policy issues.

“In the United States, the government picks winners and losers. In the case of agriculture, the winners are a few large commodities at the expense of specialty crops and smaller scale farmers who produce food for consumers. If you don’t like the current food system, change the decision-makers who create the policy that benefits a few well-connected and resource-rich individuals and companies.”

—Jane Shey, IA and MD

Sylvia Spalding is organizing in her Mahaska County, Iowa, community to bring more transparency, public input and accountability to the process for the proposed Navigator CO2 pipeline in Iowa. From organizing and presenting at community meetings, to attending and delivering statements at public hearings, to collaborating with other on-the-ground organizations, Sylvia is committed to helping put a spotlight on the risks and cumulative impacts of pipelines, including the disruption of ecosystem services like water purification, oxygen production, wildlife habitat and natural CO2 sequestration that forests provide.

“The recent droughts and floods and the overall instability of our climate generally make farming an even riskier proposition than it already was. This is why we need the support of local and national communities that care about issues like the environment, food security, and organic and sustainable farming. When it comes to policies that support small farmers, we must hold our leaders accountable to standards of sustainability, equity, diversity, and security in our food system.”

—Angela Dawson, Forty Acre Co-op, MN