Climate Resilience – A Course for Farmers
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 8-week course, you will learn and share knowledge with climate resilient agriculture experts, experienced farmers, and MESA’s network of agroecology educators. You will also be matched in a mentor-mentee relationship to share expertise and strengthen community-based farmer-to-farmer networks. Over the course of the 8 weeks, you’ll 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.
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 mentor-mentee relationships to share best practices and strategies
- Connect with farmers and ranchers in the Rogue Valley, OR and California Bay Area during Farmer-to-Farmer Field Days and live, interactive webinars
- 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 chang
- The Climate Resilient Course will run around August-September of 2018
- Farmer-to-Farmer Field Days: dates TBD
- 6-10 live webinars
- 1 in-person Farmer-to-Farmer Field Day (regional)
- 6 Applied Activities
- Recorded videos and lectures
- Readings and Background Material
How much time will you need?
Our live, engaging webinars will be about 1.5 hours each Tuesday evening for the first 6 weeks of the course. Additionally, we estimate you’ll spend around 2.5 hours for additional readings, applied assignments 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).
What you will need to participate:
- A computer
- Access to high-speed internet for weekly webinars of 1.5 hours for at least 6 weeks (all webinars 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 Northern California/Bay Area or the Rogue Valley, Oregon
- Willing and able to travel to one Farmer-to-Farmer Field Day in your region
- 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
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.
This initial course is no cost to participant, and is generously funded 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.