|From the Executive Director
When the results of the stakeholder session were compiled, it turned out that the folks who know agriculture in our state thought that 15 of the 24 agriculture features we looked at (such as apple and pear production, maple syrup, greenhouse production, dairy husbandry and feed production) are at serious risk from climate change in the next 10 years. Ten years isn’t that long!
Five agricultural features were at medium risk and only four (berry, meat, egg and grape production) had low risk.
This year the working group’s task is to suggest adaptation strategies for Connecticut Agriculture in the face of climate change. Changing varieties or breeds and education are strategies that extend across sectors. For example, using fruit tree varieties and cattle breeds which do better in warmer parts of the country and educating farmers, about steps they can take to adapt, and consumers, about new varieties and availability patterns, are some of the strategies recommended.
But a major strategy, for both mitigating climate change and adapting to it, involves using organic methods. With increased soil organic matter and biodiversity, organic systems not only store more carbon and water in the soil and avoid the major greenhouse gas emissions from conventional fertilizer production and use, they also increase resilience in the face of environmental change.
That’s why CT NOFA’s work to educate farmers and gardeners in organic methods through conferences, field days and workshops is so important. I hope you will support our work with your memberships, donations and participation. It is critically important for our future.
See links below for more information about climate change and agriculture. Remember that, according to the USDA,
“Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.”
Ecological harmony in our gardens and yards, on our farms, in our communities and on the Earth is an important, even essential, goal. Organic agriculture is a key component.