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CO farming couple combine sheep and fruit trees

Organic farming couple fighting climate change by combining sheep farming and fruit orchards in CO:

"When I caught up with Topp recently, he had just returned home from a lobbying trip to Washington where he had spoken to Congressional aides about the importance of crop insurance, beginning farmer loan programs, and other safety nets—"a laundry list of everything I've been using," he said. He was there in his official capacity with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, in other words, but he spoke from personal experience as a young organic farmer.

As such, he also bent ears in Washington about approaches that help farmers help themselves while protecting the planet: "Our team brought up incentive payments to practice better conservation, and tools to help improve things like irrigation," he told me. "We advocated for renewable energy—everything from wind and solar to biofuel to cellulosic fuel research that can transform a broader range of products into ethanol, and the research and policies to support those."

It was an organic farmer's broad vision of the future of agriculture. And despite the challenges he himself has faced, Topp is optimistic about the viability of his approach, in large part because he sees the principles of organics spreading, its wisdom reaching growers who are farming in the mainstream."

"I see the world of other farmers around me changing," said Topp. "And I think that no matter what you think about organic, it's been a really positive force in agriculture. I genuinely think it's contributed a lot, and I'm really proud of that."

This article is part of the Why Organic Matters series, sponsored by Organic Valley, a cooperative of over 2,000 small family farmers who produce dairy, eggs and produce in a way that's good for animals, people and the planet. We're highlighting stories about the people, communities, and companies who are making the world a better place, literally from the ground up.

Read the full article here: I'm A Young Organic Farmer—Here’s How My Farm Is Fighting Climate Change

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Thanks for this inspiring story, Sandra. As this farmer realizes, the future of agriculture and food systems will have to be based on the small farmer and agroecology. Here is the best resource I know for information on how industrial farming is ruining the environment and making us sick and how "diversified agroecological systems" can get us out of this crisis: International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems.
The only trouble with the work of IPES-Food is that they really believe the whole food system can be overturned within (roughly) the current political and economic system. When you see the extent of what they're calling for, you realize this will not happen under capitalism.