The Climate Land Leaders Initiative

Climate Land Leaders are working with compassion and commitment to address the climate crisis on their lands. As landowners, they are implementing ambitious conservation projects, sharing with and learning from each other, and serving as leaders on climate policy and equity initiatives. Climate Land Leaders began as an initiative of Sharing Our Roots, which advances a resilient agriculture system that demonstrates the power to heal our lands, nourish our communities and prepare emerging farmers.

Climate Land Leaders'


Farmland owners, as stewards of the land, nourish the land and each other, and lead the transition to a healthy, habitable planet.


Provide community and support to help farmland owners mitigate the climate crisis and enhance rural vitality.

Guiding Principles

We, the Climate Land Leaders, acknowledge and oppose systemic inequalities that limit access to land. We:

  • Respect and learn from the natural world through observation and engagement.
  • Use scientific evidence as a guide.
  • Utilize partnerships for greater impact.
  • Are accountable to and support each other.
  • Welcome people at various places in their journey to land transformation.
  • Focus on accomplishing work on-the-ground.
  • Acknowledge the negative effects of farming on soil health, water quality and the climate.
  • Recognize that working lands are necessary for growing nutrient-dense food and supporting rural communities.

“When tornadoes threaten your livelihood, when you don’t get a drop of rain for over a month, when floods ravage your crops and livestock, when unusual insects fly in from hurricane winds and eat your forage for your livestock, when a derecho peels the roof off your home and barns, and it all happens within a year of time, it shakes you to the core. Where can I openly discuss my sadness, my anger, my frustration and my fear? Climate Land Leaders is filled with people who have similar concerns around climate, the environment, equity and diversity, and policy. It is a safe place with a very open and caring membership.”

—Wendy Johnson, IA

Climate Land Leaders, like Ruth Rabinowitz (left, IA and CA) and Jane Shey (right, IA and MD), are active in many groups and initiatives and are often called upon to share their expertise. Ruth alone has spoken to the Iowa Farmers Union, Practical Farmers of Iowa, the Tallgrass Prairie Center, Women Food and Agriculture Network and more. She taps government and private programs to help her accomplish her conservation goals.