SfL Leaders on the World Stage

October 14, 2021

Solutions from the Land (SfL) farmer-leaders represented U.S. agricultural interests on the world stage this week, pressing a multi-dimensional approach to take on the food system, nutrition, ecological, climate and public health challenges faced by the world today.

Promoting the view that Sustainable Development Goals can best be met with a whole arsenal of integrated practices building on each other was SfL Co-Chair Fred Yoder, who spoke Tuesday at the 49th annual meeting of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Committee on Food Security (CFS).

Yoder, a 4th-generation Ohio corn, soybeans and wheat grower, joined other panelists in discussing how to address the negative impact of climate change and water scarcity on food security and nutrition; the issues of climate mitigation and adaptation; and how food systems affect climate and water availability.

This morning, another SfL leader, Pat O’Toole, a Wyoming cattle and sheep rancher, represented the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Farmer Constituency in a special workshop of the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA). The KJWA is a key policy breakthrough reached by global negotiators in 2017 that recognizes the unique potential of agriculture in tackling climate change and gives the sector a full voice within the ongoing negotiations.

O’Toole, who is president of the Family Farm Alliance, held one of only two seats in the farmer constituency delegation. He joined other workshop participants in looking into integrated strategies and modalities to scale up implementation of best practices, innovations and technologies that increase resilience and sustainable production in agricultural systems according to specific, national circumstances.

O’Toole also shared with others in the workshop the guiding principles developed by SfL leaders to insure that farmers be at the center of all discussions and decision-making. The principles, which assert that findings must be science-based, also recognize that there is no silver-bullet solution for enhancing the resilience of agriculture. The KJWA must embrace a systems approach that recognizes the tremendous diversity of agricultural landscapes. Furthermore, outcomes (rather than means) applicable to any scale of enterprise must be emphasized, without predetermining technologies, production type or design component. those in agriculture “must become more effective in communicating to the world the value of farmers and ranchers.

Both the CFS session and the KJWA workshop represent the final leadups to next global climate negotiating round, Conference of Parties (COP) 26, which will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from Oct. 31 through Nov. 12. SfL is sending a six-person delegation to Glasgow and will be reporting on their interventions and developments.

SfL invites the media to contact Yoder and O’Toole for follow-up questions on their efforts to share farmer-rancher concerns as global negotiators work to address challenges the sector will face. Yoder can be reached at 614-530-4510, or by email at [email protected]. O’Toole can be contacted at 970-376-6311, or by email at [email protected].

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SfL builds and facilitates state, national and global initiatives and alliances through which farmers, ranchers, foresters and collaborating partners showcase examples of innovation and proactively advocate for policies, partnerships, investments and research that will enable agricultural landscapes to deliver near-term, cost-effective, integrated solutions to global mega-challenges: food and energy security; sustainable economic development; climate change and environmental improvement. For more on SfL, click HERE.

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