Farmers are adapting to challenges, playing a role in climate solutions

A soil scientist says many farmers are facing unprecedented climate challenges and must build resilience to adapt and find solutions. 

Laura Lengnick says there are several tools farmers can use to address this variability.

“Soil health is number one, farmers and ranchers all over the country know that diversification is also helping to spread risk and reduce damage, and the last tool is to have some recovery reserves in place so that when we do have a year like 2019 we have a little bit in reserve to be able to recover,” she says.

She says agriculture can play a role in addressing climate change.  

“Agriculture has a lot to offer the rest of society in mitigation – how great is it that building soil health also draws carbon out of the atmosphere,” she says.  

Lengnick says well-managed agricultural landscapes can benefit all communities.

“Things like reducing flooding, providing some cooling when temperatures are hot, and providing places for wildlife to be able to survive and thrive in these uncertain conditions,” she says. “Agriculture really does have a lot to offer in these times.”

Brownfield spoke to Lengnick at the recent Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Conference in Dayton, Ohio.

Lengnick has explored agricultural and food system sustainability for more than 30 years. She is founder and principal at Cultivating Resilience, an Asheville, North Carolina-based private consulting firm.

Audio: Laura Lengnick

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