Staying Resilient Despite the Flood
By Chip Bowling, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance Chairman
Whether it’s floods or blizzards in the Midwest, hurricanes on the East Coast, drought and forest fires on the West Coast or fluctuating markets impacting all of us, one thing remains certain – farmers and ranchers will always be resilient.
Despite different crises we face in rural America, you can always count on other farmers to show up and help. In our community, if someone is dealing with a disaster or personal crisis, our neighbors work together. It could be planting or harvesting their fields, feeding the livestock, providing meals for the family or cleaning up structures; but we always stay until the job is done. Back in 2011, our farm had 28 inches of rain in 3 days, but we persevered with the help of our neighbors.
One of my fellow USFRA board members Anne Meis, on the Nebraska Soybean Board, discussed the current flood on our Farm, Food, Facts podcast and shared that, “Livestock losses are significant, and infrastructure/transportation is a big issue. But it’s been uplifting to see hay and livestock feed being donated to affected farmers.”
What’s difficult is the recent floodwater in the Midwest not only contaminated grain in storage and decimated cattle, but it hinders crop farmers from planting, and livestock farmers have to rebuild their herd – so we’re looking at a 2-year loss. American Farm Bureau Federation estimates more than $8 billion in losses, between the historic hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and wildfires in 2018, and the full impact of Corn Belt flooding is still being assessed.
But amidst the crises we face year to year, farmers and ranchers take it in stride and always figure out a ways to clean up and get back to normal. To help prepare for these weather events, we’ve implemented different sustainable techniques to protect the water, soil and nutrients on our land. Buffer strips and cover crops help prevent runoff, while grass waterways and tiling help with water management. We also scope out areas to take our livestock to higher ground in the event of flooding.
While stewardship is the values to leave our land in better condition for the next generation, it’s also caring for your community when someone is in need. When one person is hurting, we’re all hurting. Together, we’re resilient and strive to be the solution for our sustainable food systems. U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance aims to amplify this message with the entire food value chain and today’s thought leaders.
Chip Bowling, U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Chairman
Reaching the Food Value Chain on GreenBiz
U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance recently helped facilitate “10 Minutes with Cassidy Johnston” on GreenBiz. This column about how leaders make change features New Mexico cattle rancher about the importance of grazing in the lifecycle of our grasses and soils. In the piece, Cassidy shares, “Cattle are doing their part to keep rangelands healthy because rangelands have evolved to be grazed. They play a vital role in our rangeland ecosystem.”
Click here to read the full piece.
Tune in for Farm, Food, Facts Podcast
Please encourage your organization to share information about Farm, Food, Facts as a resource. To listen to our collection of podcasts please visit fooddialogues.com or subscribe to it on iTunes, Stitcher and/or Soundcloud.
USFRA Hosts Panel at American College of Sports Medicine Health & Fitness Summit
Last month, U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance held a panel discussion at American College of Sports Medicine Health & Fitness Summit titled, “From Food to Fork to Fitness Professional.” Panelists, who included Micky Rubin from the Egg Nutrition Center, Kim Kirchherr, RD and Sam Schneider, a rice, corn and soy farmer along with a fitness professional, addressed the need to work through the entire value chain to ensure healthy and sustainable food systems of the future. There was great engagement and questions from the audience who attended. Many of the attendees spoke with our panelists following the session.
Celebrating A Diversity of Opinions with Food Tank
Our CEO Erin Fitzgerald recently caught up with Dani Nierenberg, co-founder of Food Tank, on her podcast “Food Talk.” While Dani’s podcast touts “chats with the most important folks in the food industry,” Erin was able to bring farmers and ranchers to the forefront in this food conversation. Erin highlights how we can boost transparency and learn more from farmers about the diversity of ways that they tend to their land.
Do you have an upcoming event that you would like help promoting? Email Paul Murphy-Spooner at firstname.lastname@example.org with the event information and USFRA will help you raise awareness via our social media and communications channels.
- Earth Day, April 22
- Ceres Conference, San Francisco, Calif., April 29-May 1
- Seeds & Chips, Milano, Italy, May 6-9
- The Sustainability Consortium, Chicago, Ill., May 7-9
- BlogHer Food, New York, N.Y., May 8
- Future of Food Conference, Chicago, Ill., May 22-23
We’re always looking to feature our partners, supporters or farmers/ranchers who find interesting ways to inform thought leaders and influencers about today’s agriculture, so please reach out and share your stories with us!