W.K. Kellogg Foundation Awards Solutions from the Land $500,000 Grant to Fund Upper Midwest Climate Smart Initiative

May 31, 2016

For immediate release

LUTHERVILLE, MD (May 31, 2016) – Solutions from the Land (SfL), a collaboration led by an acclaimed group of active farm, forestry and conservation leaders, has been awarded a grant to design and begin implementing a three-five year climate smart/resilient agriculture action plan designed to help Upper Midwest farmers adapt to changing climatic conditions, improve the resiliency of their operations and further enable agricultural landscapes to deliver multiple food, feed, fiber, energy and ecosystems services from the land.

The initiative, which is being launched by a $500,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation based in Battle Creek, MI., will link with—and build on—the multi-stakeholder partnerships that have been developing in the region around water quality, food policy and sustainable agriculture projects, and will connect leading innovators in inter-sectorial dialogue and planning to improve climate resiliency, and achieve nutrition, energy, environmental, health and economic goals.

“Unpredictable shifts in regional weather events and patterns lead to predictable disruptions on our working landscapes. Over the next 25 years, agricultural producers big and small are projected to experience declines in crop and livestock productivity due to pollination problems, weeds, new and old diseases, insect pests, extreme temperatures and other climate change induced stresses,” said AG Kawamura, Co-Chair of Solutions from the Land. “We are extremely grateful to the visionary Kellogg Foundation for investing with SfL into an effort that will bring together a broad range of stakeholders to expand the development of integrated sustainable solutions to the challenges of climate change, food security, economic development and the conservation of biodiversity in challenging times,” Kawamura said.

Collaborating with SfL on this initiative will be The Ohio State University’s Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT), and other partners. “We can improve the health of our agricultural ecosystems to achieve the ecosystem services that InFACT and SfL are seeking, including the access to good food needed by all who are part of that ecosystem from farmers to consumers, but it will mean a transformative approach rooted in the kind of collaboration that this project will encourage,” said Casey Hoy, OSU InFACT Faculty Director and Kellogg Endowed Chair in Agricultural Ecosystems.

The goal of the initiative, which will begin in Ohio and then extend to other Upper Midwest states, is to help farmers adapt to changing climatic conditions, improve the resiliency and viability of their operations, as well as increase the diversity of products produced and the diversity of producers. The aim is to extend that diversity across the region’s food value chain, and enable agricultural landscapes to realize their full potential as sustainable production platforms for producing nutrient rich food, improving public health, creating new economic opportunities for those who live below the poverty level, and by doing so improving the lives of the most vulnerable members of the population.

Funds will be used to form a team of experienced farmer, conservation, land management, public health, and rural development leaders and experts who will design a plan for launching a pilot climate smart/multifunctional agriculture initiative in Ohio; define capacity building and performance outcomes that the project will achieve; and build a multi-stakeholder coalition that will, in a subsequent phase of work, develop and implement climate smart/resilient agriculture strategies across the state and region.

This initiative is particularly unique because of leadership provided by innovative farmers like Fred Yoder of Plain City, Ohio, and its use of multi-stakeholder, cross-sector landscape partnerships that will focus on integrated landscape management that will generate economic, environmental and public health benefits.

“For too long conversations about farming have been framed around ‘problems from the land,’” Yoder said. “This initiative is fundamentally different as our focus is on the solutions that farmers can deliver from the land.”

For more information on this initiative, please feel free to contact SfL President Ernie Shea at 410-952-0123 or [email protected].

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About Solutions from the Land

Solutions from the Land (SfL) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that seeks to identify and facilitate the implementation of integrated policies, practices and projects at a landscape scale that will result in land being sustainably managed to produce food, feed, fiber and clean energy while enhancing biodiversity, providing public health benefits, protecting and improving critical environmental resources, and delivering high value solutions to combat climate change.

SfL’s unique approach to pursuing land-based solutions to global challenges is being demonstrated in regions across the Unites States, including the Delmarva Peninsula, North Carolina, the Upper Midwest, and the intermountain west. SfL also contributes to international initiatives on climate smart agriculture through the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA) and the North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance (NACSAA). For more information on Solutions from the Land, visit www.sfldialogue.net.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), found in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, as among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

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