Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, along with the Center For Rural Affairs, University of Northern Iowa Center for Energy and Environmental Education, Bethesda Lutheran Church and the Citizen's Climate Lobby are hosting a panel discussion on agriculture and climate change. The public is invited to attend and it will be held Sunday March 30 from 2 to 3 p.m. at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Ames.
"From extreme weather to drought, we are all noticing that our climate is changing," says the Rev. Joan Fumetti, a retired rural pastor and Foods Resource Bank staff member. She is one of several speakers on a panel that will discuss the climate change topic. "In the U.S., farmer's livelihoods in particular are impacted, along with their ability to provide the food, fiber and fuel upon which the world depends."
Farmers and the public need the best information available
Record rainfall events can exceed the ability of conservation practices to adequately retain topsoil and nutrients, she adds. With increasing temperatures effecting normal crop maturation, the northward spread of pests, the potential increase of invasive species, and the risks from flooding and drought, farmers need the best information available to adapt to changes already taking place and to plan wisely for the future. The food consuming public also needs the best information available.
Global farmers in regions with chronic hunger are especially vulnerable in the face of the changes we are seeing, adds the Rev. Susan Guy, director of Iowa Interfaith Power & Light. People living in poverty suffer disproportionally in disasters and often lack the resources to rebuild their lives. Conflicts over limited resources are expected to intensify and climate refugees are expected to increase dramatically as whole populations are forced to relocate due to rising sea levels and land that is no longer able to support them, she adds.
Panel discussion will focus on climate, farming and faith
"Yet it is not only farmers, but everyone of us, who have a moral obligation--to the most vulnerable, to future generations and to one another--to work together so that we might discover and put into practice solutions that can make a difference today and in the generations to come," says Fumetti.
The panel discussion is open to the public and will focus on climate change through the lenses of agriculture and faith. It will take place Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at Bethesda Lutheran Church, 1517 Northwestern Avenue, Ames, Iowa.
Participants: Mike Glover, Moderator: Retired Associated Press reporter; Chris Anderson: Iowa State University climate scientist and agronomist; Matt Russell: Drake University Agricultural Law program's State Food Policy Project Coordinator and co-owner of Coyote Run Farm; Arlyn Schipper: Schipper Farms, an Iowa farm operation specializing in corn, soybeans and livestock; Joan Fumetti: Retired rural pastor and Foods Resource Bank staff.
Sponsors: Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, Center for Rural Affairs, University of Northern Iowa's Center for Energy and Environmental Education, Bethesda Lutheran Church, and Citizen's Climate Lobby.