Florida Climate Smart Agriculture Forum
On August 12, 2019 the Florida Climate Smart Agriculture Work Group - through Solutions from the Land and UF/IFAS - hosted Florida House Representative Kathy Castor and chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis at a field tour and knowledge sharing forum held in Gainesville. The forum highlighted the climate challenges now pressing Florida's farms, ranches, and forests, as well as steps roducers and others are taking in response to the growing threat.
Scientists, state and national government, and Florida producers shared their knowledge and experience on topics from regional challenges, to incentives for ecosystems services provided by agriculture, to the recently released UNFCCC IPCC Report on Climate Change and Land. The mission of the initiative was reviewed: "The Florida Smart Agriculture initiative will identify and implement climate smart agriculture solutions and ecosystems services that benefit producers, the public and the planet."
The forum was followed by an August 13, 2019 Florida Climate Smart Agriculture Work Group meeting that began to map out plans for further activities in the state.
- Agriculture and Forestry in a Changing Climate: What the Future Holds for Florida
- Statement: Florida Ag Producers, Foresters Share Ideas to Deal with Climate Change
- WCJB: Farmers and lawmakers hold forum to address climate change
- WUFT: UF Panel Delves Into The Future Of Florida’s Farmlands Amid Climate Change
- Southeast Ag Net: Forum Addresses Climate Change and Agriculture
- WLRN: Florida Farmers Combat Climate Change
- Miami Herald: As climate change hits Florida agriculture, could the future be 'carbon farming'?
- Growing Produce: Ways Florida Ag is Taking on the Climate Change Challenge
- NWF Daily News: Florida farmers work together to change the narrative about climate change and agriculture
Florida Climate Smart Agriculture Initiative
Enabled by a Turner Foundation planning grant, Solutions from the Land (SfL), in collaboration with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), initiated in late 2018 a climate smart agriculture dialogue with a group of highly respected and well networked agricultural and forestry thought leaders and value chain partners in the state. As part of the recruitment process, candidates were advised that they would be joining a “self-directed” work group with the following mission:
- Review the impacts that extreme weather events and changing climatic conditions are having and are expected to have on the state’s agriculture and forestry sectors;
- Determine any need for and benefits of developing an agricultural and forestry adaptive management strategy for the state based on climate-smart agriculture principles; and
- If participants agree that such a strategy would be useful, develop an action plan for producing same.
Florida Climate Smart Agriculture Introduction
At the conclusion of the introductory dialogue, the consensus view of the Work Group was that Florida agriculture was undergoing transformational change resulting from a growing population, land fragmentation, rising operating costs, labor shortages, trade imbalances and that changing climatic conditions represented a major threat multiplier to the future economic viability of the industry.
This planning led to a second, April 17, 2019 meeting and the announcement of the Florida Climate Smart Agriculture Initiative on April 18th.