A forum next week will focus on the intersection between faith, climate change and agriculture.
Reverend Susan Guy, executive director of Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, says the panelists will talk about how climate change is altering the face of farming, why the issue is important to them and how their faith calls them to respond.
“We know that there are a lot of people in rural communities who are very dependent on agriculture to make a living,” Reverend Guy says. “We know that extreme weather events are really having an impact on them. We feel this is part of our mission to reach out to those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.”
Members of the panel include Fred Kirschenmann, a farmer and former director of the Leopold Center at Iowa State University and Chris Anderson, assistant director of the ISU’s Climate Science Program.
“Farmers are doing a lot of great things and they’re aware of the impacts of climate change in terms of their planting seasons and extreme weather events,” Guy says. “We want to normalize the conversation about climate change and agriculture and talk about how farmers and rural communities are adapting and mitigating and helping to find solutions.”
Those solutions include using more renewable fuels and working to make farming operations more energy efficient, in addition to locating wind turbines on their properties to help offset costs. Still, Guy says, climate change continues to present significant challenges to growers.
“We’re having extreme weather events and a lot of flooding, so it’s keeping farmers out of their fields or it’s destroying crops that are already in the ground,” Guy says. “We’ve had seasons where we’ve had both flooding and drought in the same year, so we’re going from lots and lots of water to no water which is also having a negative impact on crops.”
The forum is open to anyone and will start at 6:30 PM Wednesday (June 15) at the Christy 4-H Hall in Nevada, IA. Guy says Iowa Interfaith Power & Light is a non-profit group dedicated to inspiring and equipping people of faith to become leaders finding solutions to climate change.