MOFGA Connects Farmers Adapting to Climate Change

March 13, 2024

MOFGA is creating spaces for farmers to connect on peer-to-peer strategies for coping with climate change. MOFGA is connecting farmers with technical support and removing barriers to resources to assist with making adaptation decisions and developing long-term strategies for dealing with climate uncertainties. Participants will build collaborative skills and center community networks for a more resilient agricultural future. 

The 2024 Farmer Climate Forums is a three-part series supported by NOFA-VT and MOFGA. The first session is for vegetable producers, the second session is for livestock producers, and the third session is focused on whole-farm water management planning across production types. 

“Any time farmers can gather in an intentional way around common concerns, the community is strengthened, even when a particular problem is not necessarily solved,” says John Bliss of Broadturn Farm in Scarborough, Maine. “Strengthening that brain trust is crucial to climate resilience.”

MOFGA is also hosting Climate Cafes, a series of gatherings taking place around the state to bring farmers together to discuss concerns, needs and strategies around adapting to and mitigating climate change. These events help grow community skills and build MOFGA’s network of resilience. 

“Weather variability can weigh on those of us working out in the elements,” adds Bliss. “The uncertainty leads to stress. But connecting with each other offers some kind of relief, even just processing the struggle.”

MOFGA offers a suite of technical assistance programs from livestock and crop production to business and marketing. Farmers can also find support for organic certification services through MOFGA. To further support farmers with the increasing challenges of climate change, MOFGA hired a climate smart and organic transition specialist, Meg Mitchell, who works to connect farmers with technical support and funding for climate-smart practices and transitioning to organic. Removing barriers to access for communities historically underserved by MOFGA is central to their work as is integrating emotional resilience into outreach and technical support. Mitchell can be contacted via email.

“Farmers are dealing with the immediacy of weather disasters and simultaneously needing to vision for an uncertain future with survival at stake,” says Mitchell. “It is essential that we build coping and adaptation strategies that prioritize community relationships with equity as a foundation. Reaching historically underserved groups with technical assistance and funding is an important first step towards an abundant future where we all thrive.”

Farmers can register for Climate Forums and upcoming Climate Cafes via MOFGA’s online calendar.

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