Podcasts The Farm Report

Episode 2: Climate and Water Action for the Next Generation

Episode: 2

Farmers are now dealing with the impacts of the climate crisis on a daily basis. Experts predict weather events including droughts and flooding will only get worse. Young and beginning farmers, especially BIPOC farmers, are feeling those impacts the most. Are there opportunities to advance water and climate action and justice through the 2024 Farm Bill? We interview Abi Fain, Chief Legal and Policy Officer at the Intertribal Ag Council. And we’ll talk to young farmers building solutions to address water access and climate issues. 

Guest Bios:

Abi Fain, Chief Legal & Policy Officer, Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC)

Abi works with her colleagues at IAC to develop and implement education and advocacy strategies that support the policy priorities identified by IAC’s member Tribes and advance IAC’s overall mission of pursuing and promoting the conservation, development and use of Tribal agriculture resources for the betterment of Tribal people. To this, Abi and IAC’s policy team focus their efforts on ensuring Tribal producers have opportunities to meaningfully participate in programs administered by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs through administrative or legislative solutions. Prior to joining IAC in May 2022, Abi practiced law for seven years at Pipestem Law and specialized in the representation of tribal governments, tribal enterprises, and Native organizations. Abi is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

Susan Mitchell, Owner and Operator, Cloverleigh Farms + Young Farmers Land Fellow

Susan Mitchell is the owner/operator of Cloverleigh Farm in Columbia, CT. As a first-generation farmer, she grows certified organic vegetables, herbs, and flowers for a robust CSA program alongside her partner Josh Carnes, who raises pastured-livestock. They landed on their “forever farm” a few years ago after leasing land for many years while searching for long-term tenure and security. Susan is one of the co-founders of the New Connecticut Farmer Alliance, the Connecticut Chapter of Young Farmers. 

facebook

instagram

Matt Hollenbeck, Hollenbeck’s Cider Mill + Young Farmers Land Fellow

Matt Hollenbeck lives and farms in Virgil, NY and is the 4th generation steward of Hollenbeck’s Cider Mill. He has been a factory worker, cubicle jockey, geologist, outdoor adventure guide, worked on a small organic csa farm, a butcher shop, and many other varied jobs before settling into continuing his family’s 90+ year old ag processing business. He’s a first generation orchardist with impostor syndrome, a staunch and vocal advocate for rural issues, smallholder agriculture, and appropriate technology. Matt is also a firm believer that family is the most important part of a family business. And a luddite to boot!

 

LeVar Eady, CEO and Founder, BluRok Farms + Young Farmers Water Fellow

BluRok Farm was born out of LeVar’s determination to grow the best hemp/cannabis possible while building a business that helps people become business owners and heal the planet. His path started in the garden where I learned to grow roses with his grandmother. Visit BluRok Farms at https://blurokfarm.com/.

Shannon Maes, Rancher, San Juan Ranch + Young Farmers Water Fellow

What’s a ground-level view from a cattle ranch in southern Colorado as fall turns to winter amidst prolonged drought and as legislative work on Farm Bill 2024 wraps up? Shannon Maes shares some of her experiences of drought, working with water and grazing for soil health and climate resilience as well as a few thoughts on agricultural and food policy from her perspective of working on ranches and ditchriding in her home region of Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. Shannon has worked in agriculture since 2017 and completed a Water Advocacy Fellowship through the National Young Farmer’s Coalition during 2023. Currently she works with cows, dogs, horses, people, soil, grass, and weather at San Juan Ranch in the San Luis Valley.

Check out the Intertribal Agriculture Council here

Learn more about the USDA’s EQIP program here and the crop insurance agent training program Abi mentions here

More information about the Small Farms Conservation Act and the Farmer to Farmer Education Act can be found here and here

Connect with the farmers featured in this episode. Visit Cloverleigh Farm, Hollenbeck’s Cider Mill, San Juan Ranch, and BluRok Farm

The Farm Report is hosted by Leigh Ollman and Alita Kelly, produced by Leigh Ollman, Evan Flom and H Conley, and edited by Hannah Beal and H Conley. 

Audio engineering is by Armen Spendjian and H Conley. Music is by Breakmaster Cylinder and Jangwa

Learn more about the National Young Farmers Coalition here and consider becoming a member

Click here to take action on the farm bill and other important policy issues.

The Farm Report is Powered by Simplecast.

Latest Episodes

Episode 5: Land Access Now!

Episode 5: Land Access Now!

2

5

Access to land is the number one challenge facing the next generation of farmers in the US. Centuries of discrimination and land theft have put this resource out of reach of farmers who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Everyday in the US we lose 2,000 acres of viable farmland to development. With millions of acres on the verge of ...
Episode 4: What’s the Future of Urban Agriculture?

Episode 4: What’s the Future of Urban Agriculture?

2

4

Despite an increasing number of farmers growing food in cities urban agriculture wasn't acknowledged in the farm bill until 2018. Lisa Held, journalist with Civil Eats and former Farm Report host provides the scoop on how the Farm Bill will impact the future of urban ag. Melissa Metrick and Wythe Marschall, co-hosts of HRN's Fields ...
Episode 3: Linking Farms and Food Access

Episode 3: Linking Farms and Food Access

2

3

The nutrition title was first included in the 1973 farm bill. It's projected to make up 84% of total Farm Bill spending, with most of the funds going to SNAP. That's because the program helps more than 40 million low-income individuals provide food for their families each month. Some of those people are farmers. In this episode, we talk to ...
Episode 2: Climate and Water Action for the Next Generation

Episode 2: Climate and Water Action for the Next Generation

2

2

Farmers are now dealing with the impacts of the climate crisis on a daily basis. Experts predict weather events including droughts and flooding will only get worse. Young and beginning farmers, especially BIPOC farmers, are feeling those impacts the most. Are there opportunities to advance water and climate action and justice through the 2024 ...
Episode 1: Why the Farm Bill Matters

Episode 1: Why the Farm Bill Matters

2

1

Why should our next generation of farmers - and just about everyone who eats - care about the farm bill? Celize Christy, an Organizer at HEAL Food Alliance explains the basic details on what's in the legislation, how it gets written, and how it impacts you. Then, Young Farmers' Policy Campaigns Co-Director Vanessa Garcia Polanco lays out the ...
Announcing “The Farm Report: A Farm Bill for the Next Generation”

Announcing “The Farm Report: A Farm Bill for the Next Generation”

Join us for a special series of The Farm Report in collaboration with The National Young Farmers Coalition that's all about The Farm Bill. Tune in to hear from farmers, policymakers, organizers, and food advocates about all the ways the farm bill directly impacts our lives - whether we realize it or not. We'll break down farm policy and talk ...
From Harvest to Vinegar

From Harvest to Vinegar

431

Humans have used fermentation to preserve crops and add flavor and health benefits to their diets for thousands of years. Since 2015, Sarah Conezio and Isaiah Billington have been putting their own stamp on that age-old tradition with Keepwell Vinegar. Together, they partner directly with small, organic farms to turn apples, ginger, and ...
Butter and Meat—from the Same Cows

Butter and Meat—from the Same Cows

430

Whether they've grazed on grass their entire lives, been raised in an organic system, or lived on a conventional dairy farm, the vast majority of dairy cows get sold into the commodity beef system when they're retired and get integrated into the same cheap meat supply. With Butter Meat Co, Jill Gould is betting on a different model. By ...
SERIES
SUBSCRIBE

PARTNER