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US (CO): Young innovators can help Colorado ag overcome climate change

As the weather cools and leaves turn, many young people go back to school to learn, research, and continue with their studies while other researchers explore strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure our survival for future generations. But an academic setting is not the only place where that type of experimentation, learning, problem-solving, and innovation can happen.

We are the next generation of agriculturalists, innovators, problem-solvers, and leaders who will shape the industry's trajectory and find solutions to some of our most pressing challenges, including climate change and the ever-increasing need to feed our growing population. According to the global food emissions database (EDGAR-FOOD), as reported in a study published in Nature Food, one-third of greenhouse gas emissions can be linked to agriculture, encompassing deforestation, soil tilling, and the accumulation of food waste from our kitchens. It is evident our food systems are in need of regenerative and resilient transformations to ensure food security for all communities.

It is thus essential to provide farmers with access to the resources required to implement innovative changes and solutions. Farmers should also have a seat at the table during crucial decision-making processes and policy changes that impact agriculture. Equally as important is the need to attract and support more young people into agriculture and show them it's not only a viable career but also a dignified, purposeful, and essential public service.

But it's not just about providing resources. It's also about investing in solutions to ensure the resilience of agriculture and our food supply. Water scarcity and drought, for instance, pose significant challenges to our communities. Climate change only exacerbates and perpetuates this problem. These challenges, along with the difficulty of accessing resources and infrastructure, deeply shaped my approach to farming.


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