Climate Smart Agriculture: Farmers have pictures to paint

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
By: Ray Gaesser, Gaesser Farms, Grower
AgVocacy Forum - Ray Gaesser

For all of my life, farming and agriculture has been my passion and, I believe, my purpose. Like most farmers, caring for my family, farm and community is the priority. Passing on our farms to the next generations is the hope and reward for decades of work, worry and – I dare say – the joy of collaborating with Mother Nature in order to feed people.


We are creatures of, and participants in, the cycles of nature. To me, it makes great sense to manage our farms and invest in our future with the ever-changing climate in mind. Climate Smart Agriculture is a phrase that makes sense – some say it paints the picture.


The Climate Smart approach is based on the need and commitment to become more resilient in growing a more certain food supply for our expanding global population, while enhancing and conserving our natural resources. Climate Smart Agriculture is about practices, actions and investments in our future.


Farming is a lifetime journey; it's a continuing process of learning and improving – thus painting the picture. The brushes that we use to paint the picture of the future for our farms are varied. Some are wide to cover a lot of ground, and some are very fine for detail. Everyone has a role in the painting, and we rely on each other to create the picture. There are many sources for help, like university extension, NRCS, associations, state agencies and even your neighbor.


On our farm, we use and apply the latest innovations that allow greater food production per acre. We no-till, terrace and build waterways. We invest in the infrastructure, equipment, technology and seeds that allow us to be resilient in the face of ever-changing and even extreme weather events. We plant cover crops to give the earth that green blanket of surface protection and increase soil biological activity. We continue to learn, and there are new practices to test. On our farm, we are seeing the benefits!


"The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion." (Paulo Coelho)


Each farm is unique, each farmer can inspire by example, and we can inspire others to act. That’s what the whole idea of “AgVocating” ties back to—sharing the story of agriculture and the people responsible for feeding the world—today and tomorrow.


Paint your Climate Smart Agriculture picture – it's about feeding people!


The world population is expected to reach nearly 9.6 billion by 2050, and producing enough healthy and nutritious food for all will require collaboration and engagement across the ag sector and beyond. It is important for everyone who plays a role in this important work to #AgVocate by sharing their story. Be sure to check out the other participants’ blogs as they #AgVocate. Tomorrow’s post will be hosted by Louisa Burwood-Taylor, chief editor, AgFunderNews, on the importance of investing in agriculture, particularly the agritech industry.


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