AMES, Ia. – Farmers need to help find solutions for climate change, experts said Saturday during a forum in Ames.
“We’re not just victims here; we can be engaged in the solution,” said Matt Russell, coordinator of the Drake Agricultural Law Program’s State Food Policy Project and co-owner of Coyote Run Farm.
Iowa Interfaith Power and Light — an advocacy group that encourages aggressive efforts to slow human-caused global warming and mitigate the effects of climate changes — hosted the panel at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Ames.
About 75 people sat at tables in the church. Moderator Mike Glover, a former Associated Press political reporter, began the discussion by asking the panelists how they see climate change affecting agriculture and if they believed the current agricultural system can continue to exist if climate change continues at its current pace.
Farmers need to think about how to adapt to the effects of climate change because there is already evidence that Iowa agriculture is being affected by greenhouse gases, said Christopher Anderson, an Iowa State University climate scientist and agronomist.
“I think that what we are doing is creating a future agriculture that is going to require people my age and younger, who are the farmers of the future, to make very different capital investments than they make nowadays,” Anderson said. “They’re going to have to reshape their farms in very serious ways.”
Joan Fumetti, a former Foods Resource Bank staff member, said people need to evaluate if they like the current agricultural system.