'Farmers for Climate Solutions' -- balancing economic and ecological sustainability

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Farm in Essex County. Image: Victoria Fenner/rabble.ca

Too often, the issue of climate change is believed to be an either/or situation, as in, we can have a healthy environment, or we can have economic growth. Farmers tend to be a fairly cautious bunch of people who are slow to change when they perceive that what they're doing is working fine. There isn't widespread agreement that change is necessary. Or when there is agreement, what to be done about is contentious. Just ask a group of farmers about the carbon tax and see what happens.

But, of course, this isn't true of all farmers. Today we're going to hear from Stewart Wells, a prairie farmer from the Swift Current, Saskatchewan area who is one of the voices in a new campaign called called Farmers for Climate Solutions. The campaign got underway this week on Tuesday, launched on National Agriculture Day. Farmers for Climate Solutions is being spearheaded by a coalition of farmer-led organizations and supporters, mostly from the organic agriculture sector. 

Wells is also on the executive of the National Farmers Union (NFU), one of the coalition partners. In December, the NFU released a report called "Tackling the Farm Crisis and the Climate Crisis." It has a lot of facts, figures and ideas about building sustainability in agriculture which balances economics with climate action.

He talked to Victoria Fenner about his own 1,400-hectare organic farm where he and his partner grow grains, alfalfa and pulse crops (beans, dried peas etc.), about the NFU report and what farmers can be to to sustain both their livelihoods and the environment. 

Image: Victoria Fenner/rabble.ca


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