Out of Town, Not Out of Trouble: Small Agriculture and Indigenous Communities

Webinar Date: 
November 20, 2014
This is a two-part webinar to raise issues for small agriculture and Indigenous Community/Tribal adaptation with people and groups who are potential collaborators.  
  • Becoming Unconventional:  Small Agriculture Adaptation Issues: John Wiener, Ph.D., Research Associate, Program on Environment and Society, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado at Boulder.  This presentation will be a fast overview of major issues and a suggested starting framework for considering collaborations.  Small agriculture is a fuzzy category and an unorganized sector with limited access to technical information; that is itself an issue and opportunity.  Small and medium sized farms and ranches own more than half of US agricultural assets and farmland, but net less ten percent of farm income. Becoming “unconventional” is a gimmick name, because “conventional agriculture” refers to the ever-more input-intensive mechanized monocultural agriculture and associated concentrated animal feeding operations which are distinguished from “alternative” agriculture.  For small and medium business operations, the struggle for viability has largely been an effort to follow conventional agriculture. But, conventional agriculture is apparently unsustainable.  The bright spot of local preference, direct sales, organics and alternatives will be noted and then some of the issues in transition toward more sustainable farming systems.  Partnerships with urban consumers and beneficiaries of positive externalities are badly needed!
  • Moving Adaptation Forward: Diverse Knowledges and Partnerships-Creating Opportunities for Capacity Building and Adaptation Solutions: Julie Maldonado, Ph.D.  Lead Author, U.S. National Climate Assessment; Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, American University.  Indigenous communities across the U.S. are experiencing a multitude of climate change effects and challenges, resulting in physical, social, cultural, health, and ecological consequences. Indigenous and non-indigenous leaders, scientists, practitioners, researchers, and students are taking action, bringing together diverse knowledges and establishing partnerships to build capacity and create adaptation solutions to address these impacts. This talk will provide an overview of recent and current work and opportunities for engagement on Indigenous-related climate challenges and solutions. I will highlight the U.S. National Climate Assessment’s engagement with Indigenous communities and the key messages from the Indigenous Peoples, Land, and Resources Chapter, including climate change impacts on agriculture, and opportunities for continued engagement; discuss the Rising Voices movement as a model for the type of actions and partnership building that is currently taking place, as well as other related models and networks; and provide examples of how tribal communities in coastal Louisiana are working through these and other channels to build capacity and adaptation solutions to the climate and other environmental changes they are currently experiencing.