News from the West

The end of summer brought both bounty and hardship to Western farmers and ranchers. From hurricanes to fire, flood to drought, many have struggled with serious impacts to both their operations and their communities. But as farmers do, you are rebuilding, pitching in, and standing together. Times like these remind us how important it is to strengthen our communities and build a common voice for resilient agriculture. NYFC’s Western team has been... Read More

Farming is all about timing, but climate change is changing the rules

By Mai Nguyen There was a worrying absence of metronomic clicks. I took out my voltmeter and detected only a faint current in the sheep fencing. In search of the impediment, I checked the solar panel output, connections, and electric twine that made up the portable fence. The problem lay in an entanglement of wire and brambles. I wondered if I should corral the sheep into their pen while I fixed the problem or leave them grazing. It was already late... Read More

New report: Innovation & stewardship in the arid West

Here’s a story you probably haven’t heard in the news: Family farmers are leading water conservation efforts in the West. Here are two examples. By building up the level of organic matter in the soil of their California farm, Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser (pictured above with their crew) have drastically cut their irrigation use while increasing their production seven fold compared to similar California farms. In Wyoming, ranchers Pat and Sharon... Read More

The West, water and you: Take our new survey

This year drought has gripped the West to a new extreme. But both young and seasoned farmers are forging new and innovative solutions, growing more food with less water while enhancing biodiversity, soil health, and their local communities. Yet despite this, too often young farmers are not engaged in shaping water policy. This means their values and their voices go unheard by policymakers. NYFC is changing that. As part of our ongoing work on water... Read More

NYFC Presents at Western Governors Association Drought Forum

Presenters at the 2014 WGA Drought Forum California State Capitol where the WGA Drought Forum was held National Young Farmers Coalition was invited to present during the Western Governors Association forum on “Drought Impacts and Solutions in the Agricultural Sector”. Many academics and water resource managers from California were in attendance along with several ranchers and farmers.  Jerry Brown, Governor of California and Nevada Governor Brian... Read More

Water Tour brings farmers together from across Southwest

Farmers of Southwest CO Young Farmers Chapter gather for a potluck and photo shoot for NYFC film “Resilient” Below average precipitation combined with warm and dry summers make it difficult for producers to grow enough to make a profit and forecasts of low precipitation patterns suggests this may be a new normal.  With water being a critical resource for managing a successful farm, drought resiliency is an important skill. This week... Read More

NYFC launches “RESILIENT,” new film on water conservation in the West

The National Young Farmers Coalition proudly announces the release of its short film “RESILIENT: Soil, Water and The New Stewards of The American West.”  Within the context of historic drought and increasing urban demand, “Resilient” highlights the work of innovative farmers and ranchers across western Colorado who are adapting to a drier climate. They are building soil, enhancing irrigation efficiency, and saving water, all while forging... Read More

Sustaining Farming in the Arid West: Stories of young farmers, water and resilience

FARMERS ADAPT TO DROUGHT AND INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY New Report Highlights Innovative Drought Mitigation & Water Savings by Six Farmers in Four Colorado River Basin States August 14th, 2014 Download report (PDF) DURANGO, CO – The National Young Farmers Coalition released a report today highlighting innovative farmers who are adapting to record drought in the arid Southwest. “Sustaining Farming in the Arid West: Stories of young farmers,... Read More

Water stewardship takes center stage on Colorado River Day

As news of the Wests’ staggering drought makes headlines nationwide, it can be difficult to look past the waves of dark red on the drought monitor.  Reports are rolling in on California farmers fallowing land due to lack of water, tumbleweed take-over, and western reservoirs dropping to their lowest levels in history. Read More  Read More

Innovative Farming in the Face of Climate Uncertainty

If you look at recent predictions about how climate change will affect farming in the driest third of the United States, you might at first feel as though everything is working against young agrarians.  Water levels of reservoirs behind dams on Western rivers are at the lowest levels since the dams were built; and the fossil fuel prices associated with pumping groundwater are rising as the aquifers are dropping. Urban water demand is squeezing out... Read More

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