Vanessa Kummer is a farmer from Colfax, North Dakota. She is a Farmer Ambassador with Farm Journal Foundation and a former chairperson of the United Soybean Board. In a recent article published as a CNN Opinion piece, she writes: “The record drought scorching the western US – including my state, North Dakota – is becoming an all-too-familiar story. For farmers like me, it seems like nowadays we have more bad years than good. Every season brings another unprecedented catastrophe, affecting crops regionally or all around the country.”
Ms Kummer goes on to say: “While the agricultural sector’s fate has always been tied to the weather, the severity of these events, as well as their increased frequency, makes it seem that climate change is having a hand in our weather patterns.
“…The agricultural industry is often misunderstood by the general public, and we haven’t always been credited for being forward thinking on climate change. However today, more farmers recognize the evidence around us and are turning the tide. Data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) also shows that farmers are increasingly implementing conservation practices that help mitigate climate change, although we still have a long way to go.
“There are already several USDA programs that help farmers improve their sustainability… However, these programs are significantly underfunded, so not all farmers who apply actually receive assistance. To truly move the needle and secure a future for family farms like mine, the government needs to provide more support.”