After several years of droughts and unpredictable weather patterns, farmers in Maine have become increasingly more concerned about the exigencies of climate change, and they have been asking the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) to help them prepare for this uncertain future. Specifically, farmers have requested more information about irrigation, land planning, adaptive crop/animal management, risk assessment, and many other climate change strategies.
While there has been a fair amount of research conducted on climate change nationally, here in New England very little has been done to actually bring that research to farmers in the form of practical on-site training and workshops. To that end, MOFGA proposes, through the Maine Climate Resilience Training Program, to provide a comprehensive, entirely replicable program of workshops, presentations, peer-to-peer on-farm trainings, a Climate Resilience Planning Workbook, and on-farm technical assistance – all in service to ensuring that farmers have the resources they need to navigate the complex uncertainties of farming in a changing climate.
We believe that when farmers are informed and properly prepared, they will be able to adapt and even thrive. With funding from SARE, we will develop and deliver this innovative training series to 960 farmers, utilizing MOFGA’s education models and building on existing research and resources.
Through MOFGA’s multiple outreach platforms, we have the ability to reach all the farmers in Maine, and intend to make available not just the results, but the entire program itself to any entity wanting to utilize any or all parts of it.
Project objectives from proposal:
This project seeks to demonstrate that when farmers are informed and properly prepared for the exigencies of climate changes, they will be able to adapt and even thrive. With funding from SARE, we will develop and deliver this innovative and replicable training series to 960 farmers, utilizing MOFGA’s education models and building on existing research and resources concerning climate strategies that farmers in Maine need to be aware of.
The benefits to farmers are as follows:
- Increased knowledge of production practices and strategies to counteract various climate scenarios
- On-farm guidance and consultation addressing the unique needs of each farm in preparing for and dealing with unusual weather events and climate changes
- Access to low-interest funding for investment in farm adaptations
- Increased well-being and stress-management in the face of worrying change
- Networking opportunities designed to facilitate farmers supporting and collaborating with each other in these uncertain times