Climate Column Care IntroBy Tom Driscoll, NFU Director of Conservation Policy and Education

At the 2016 National Farmers Union (NFU) convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, NFU members established that the organization should “lead efforts to help educate family farmers, ranchers and rural communities about how to adapt to the effects of climate change on their respective operations” and “support efforts for the advancement of carbon storage in the soils of family farmers, ranchers and agro-foresters.”

Some people may be surprised that a family farm organization would make such a strong statement on climate change, but they shouldn’t. Farmers take seriously their role in global food security, and NFU understands that climate change poses enormous challenges to continued expansion of access to ample, nutritious food domestically and abroad. Our concerns are captured in USDA’s 2013 report, Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptationswhich states that, by midcentury, climate change “is expected to have overall detrimental effects on most crops and livestock.”

However, the report also notes “The vulnerability of agriculture to climatic change is strongly dependent on the responses taken by humans to moderate the effects of climate change.” Farmers maintain vast potential to build climate resilience in food systems by adapting to and mitigating climate change. Please stay posted here on the NFU blog for recurring posts that will help connect farmers to the resources they need to make climate-smart decisions for their operations, and keep the public informed on the challenges farmers face protecting food security through the hazards of climate change.

Like what you’ve read? Check out our Climate Leaders home page, join the conversation in the NFU Climate Leaders Facebook Group, and keep up-to-date with NFU climate action by signing up for the mailing list.


  • Thank you for the work on climate change. Many people are put off this subject because they don’t know how to address it. One of the important things is to increase organic matter on both private and public lands to provide necessary resilience to the extremes of climate change. Overall, organic matter needs to be increased by 2%, i.e., all private and public lands with 2% soil organic matter need to go to 4%, those with 4% need to go to 6%, etc. Programs to support this important goal need to be implemented.

  • This link may help to balance the views about the subject.

    Apparently it is not true that over 90% of the worlds scientists agree about global warming. The clip features the founder of the weather channel talking about the thousands of Phd’s who dissagree but whose voices are never aired.

    • Hey Barry,

      Thanks for the comment. There is actually robust scientific consensus that human-induced climate change is occurring. USDA under George W. Bush acknowledged it in 2008 ( While there is less consensus around the impacts and we understand there are anomalies and regional variations, the VAST and overwhelming consensus is that changes are occurring and human activity is contributing.

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