Climate Resilience – A Course for Farmers
May 30 – July 30, 2018*
While farmers already know just how much we are connected (and vulnerable) to the variability inherent in working with nature, farming connects to Climate Change in profound ways. On the one hand, industrial farming is one of the main contributors to Climate Change. On the other, agroecological farming can actually mitigate and reduce the risks, vulnerability and impacts of a changing climate.
With this contradiction in mind, it is clear that to confront Climate Change rather than just react to it, we need to nurture strong farmer networks, adapt the way we farm to reduce impacts on the environment, and make our farms and farmers more climate resilient.
MESA is proud to offer an online course to help you build the tools to do just that.
Climate Resilience – A Course for Farmers
In this interactive online course, you will learn and share knowledge with climate resilient agriculture experts, experienced farmers, and MESA’s network of agroecology educators. You will build relationships to a peer group to share expertise and strengthen community-based farmer-to-farmer networks. You’ll learn to create and apply strategies to improve environmental conditions on your farm while helping build resilience and productivity within your management practices, all oriented to confronting Climate Change in your context. After May 30-July 30, you’ll have a break followed by an in-person farmer-farmer field day to wrap up the course.
By taking this course you will:
- Understand how your farm or ranch connects with climate change, agroecology, and global agriculture
- Create a Climate Resilience Action Plan for your farm or ranch
- Develop new relationships to share best practices and strategies
- Connect regionally with farmers and ranchers during a Farmer-to-Farmer Field Day and through live, interactive online meetings
- Increase your farm or ranch’s ability to adapt to the impacts of Climate Change and reduce both the production, social and financial risks of climate variability
- Gain familiarity with the regional tools, policies and resources available to support you as a farmer in the face of climate change
- May 30 – Course begins (first materials released)
- Live Weekly Online Calls will begin on June 5 and run through July 10. Below is the proposed schedule:
- Tuesday June 5: Climate Change and Agriculture
- Tuesday June 12: Agroecology and Resilience
- Tuesday June 19: Principles and Practices of Agroecology
- Tuesday June 26: Simple Methodologies to evaluate farm performance and resilience
- Tuesday July 3: On Farm Energetic Efficiency
- Tuesday July 10: Participant Presentations
- After July 10: Two weeks implementation phase and follow up of resilience plans, no required calls
- Field Day(s): TBD with groups’s schedules
Course Learning Objectives:
- Understand Agroecology in relationship to climate resilience
- Learn how to evaluate the risk and vulnerability of their agroecosystems to extreme climate events
- Learn how to apply agroecological principles to design a resilient farm plan
- Interactive live online meetings (weekly, May 30 – July 30, 2018)
- Pre-recorded videos and lectures (weekly May 30 – July 30, 2018)
- Applied Activities (weekly May 30 – July 30, 2018)
- 1 in-person Farmer-to-Farmer Field Day (regional, post July 30 depending on schedules of farmers)
- Optional Readings and Resources
Topics will include: Agriculture and Climate Change, Agroecology practices and principles, Resilience methods and tools, evaluating Energy in your system, and more.
How much time will you need?
Our live, engaging online meetings will be about 1 – 2 hours during one evening of each week of the course. Additionally, we estimate you’ll spend around 1-2 hours for applied activities and recorded videos each week. There will be one Farmer-to-Farmer field day for each region which requires travel and in-person attendance (dates TBD / dates will be chosen with participant input on scheduling). Readings and Resources will be provided as depth to your experience, optional and for your own use.
What you will need to participate:
- A computer
- Access to high-speed internet for weekly webinars (all meetings will be recorded for watching later, but ideally you will be participating live)
- Preferred but not required: Webcam capabilities on computer
This course is for you if you are:
- A Beginning Farmer/Rancher (Farming/Ranching for less than 10 years OR
- An Experienced Farmer/Rancher (Farming/Ranching for more than 10 years)
- Actively Farming/Ranching in either California or Oregon
- Willing and able to participate in weekly live webinars and complete all relevant activities
- Strong interest and desire to practice climate adaptive and resilient farming/ranching
- Willing and able to travel to one Farmer-to-Farmer Field Day in your region
Note: There is no scale requirement for your land. Prior experience with climate resilient farming not required. Background in organic/sustainable/agroecological farming and ranching also not required.
Free. This initial course is no cost to participant due to generous funding by the Western Extension Risk Management Education Center in partnership with MESA.
Interested in participating?
Sign-up or Learn more about the different ways you can be involved:
Initial Interest Intake Form:
This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2015-49200-24225.