Minnesota DNR Hosts Climate Conversation with Local Farmers, Food Leaders, and Community Members

DULUTH, MN – In recent years, local farmers have been experiencing changing seasonal patterns which are causing concern and forcing them to adjust and adapt some of their farming techniques. In partnership with the Minnesota Sea Grant, The Minnesota DNR is hosted a Climate Conversations at Whole Foods Co-op Denfeld Tuesday with local food leaders, farmers, and members of the community.  The topics for the conversation centered on the experiences and perspectives of the local farmers and how they are adapting to a changing climate that affects the local food system.

“I think climate change has affected agriculture in the region in a number of ways. I think predominantly we see that through the inconsistent rain or snow patterns or freeze and thaw cycles throughout the year that kind of drastically changed how farmers are preparing their fields, or their spaces, or their growing practices,” said Evan Flom, campaign communications associate for the National Young Farmers Coalition.

Trying to adapt to unpredictable changes that are occurring in real time is a challenge for our local farmers and a lot of it is done through experimentation to see what works. Some of these changes are in their farming techniques to mitigate the effects of the heat and cold such as farming in high tunnels. Other changes are as simple as trying out different crops to see what can survive in northern Minnesota. For one farmer, the key to overcoming the effects of climate change lies in the strength of the local farming community.

“I think that if we have a thriving local food system and that our cities are surrounded by farms, those farms are finding success in their own businesses and their growing practices, that that is the key to a resilient community and an abundant food supply,” said John Beaton, owner of Fairhaven Farm.

These Climate Conversations occurred quarterly during this past year and a link to the recordings of past meetings can be found here.

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