The agricultural sector feeds the world. Climate change poses many challenges to the sector’s function and yield, as extreme weather events can cause catastrophic damages to crops, disrupt growing seasons, damage topsoil—all at a great financial cost to reinsurers who are increasingly faced with billion-dollar payouts to cover such losses. Shifting climate patterns also change growing conditions, resulting in changes and threats to types and yields of crops across the country and, in particular, a significant challenge to water basins, where precious groundwater resources, already depleted, are further compromised as the world temperature rise induces increased rates of evaporation/transpiration.
The sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions (10% of net emissions) and, yet, is a sector that can help reduce overall emissions through best practices. These changes involve energy, water and land management, improved crop selection, and approaches to soil preservation and restoration. Across the country, farmlands are now producing new, clean energy from wind and solar installations that create economic growth beyond agriculture, adding tens of thousands of clean energy jobs.
The USDA Census of American Agriculture, in its Farm Typology section, reports that there are 2,100,000 farms in the US. Of these, 97% are family farms, and 80% of the family farms are small family farms. Further, 20% of these small family farms have been purchased in the last ten years.
Small or big, private or public, corporate or non-profit, farmer or rancher, producer or supplier, grower or researcher we will include them all and look forward to our work together.
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David Takahashi grew up in a Northern California nursery and later worked in retail nursery and landscaping through college where he studied Plant Biochemistry. He holds a patent for measuring chemical migration on thin soil slurries. His career in Information Technology was forged from his work reporting on agricultural chemicals for FDA approval.
David is a reader. His interests span from Agriculture to Zoology. Currently, he is reading up on soil sequestration of carbon via biochar, while he actively runs a berry farm in Boulder, Colorado. David’s late father-in-law was the pioneering scientist Charles David Keeling, who began to record the concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere in the 1950s, and who shared with David science’s predictions on the effects of persistent greenhouse gasses, including rises in mean temperature, disrupted weather patterns, wildfires, floods, strengthening tropical storms, ocean acidification, sea level rise, melting of glaciers and other effects. David and his family directly experienced the devastation the 2010 Four Mile Canyon wildfire when their home burned, and later witnessed the 2013 floods that ravaged their nearby communities. Through knowledge and these experiences, David began to ask himself, if lucky enough to have grandchildren, how would he answer them, if they asked, “If you knew about climate change, what did you do?”