2. ZERO HUNGER

Farming challenges aired at state hearing

Farming challenges aired at state hearing
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Farming challenges aired at state hearing  Athol Daily News

Farming challenges aired at state hearing

Athol Daily News – Farming challenges aired at state hearing

Athol Daily News – Farming challenges aired at state hearing

Introduction

Climate change’s impact on farming, as well as emerging areas like urban agriculture, soil health, and pollinators, are a focus for the University of Massachusetts Extension Agriculture Program. The program continues to help farmers adapt and adjust their practices to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Funding Challenges

Clem Clay, program director for UMass Extension Agriculture Program, expressed concern about the lack of funding from the federal government. This makes it more difficult for the staff to meet the needs of farmers in the Pioneer Valley and across the state. Clay addressed the 21st Century Agriculture Commission, highlighting the need for increased funding to support farmers in achieving the SDGs.

Hearing Details

The 21st Century Agriculture Commission, co-chaired by Sen. Jo Comerford and Rep. Kate Hogan, held a hearing at the UMass Campus Center. The hearing aimed to gather information on technical assistance and education programs offered by the extension program in Massachusetts and other states. Stan Lalor, director of Knowledge Transfer for Teagasc, Ireland’s Food & Agriculture Authority, provided insights into Ireland’s work in these areas.

Challenges Faced by UMass Extension

UMass Extension faces challenges such as aging infrastructure at research farms and limited funding compared to other extensions. Unlike other extensions that receive double or triple federal funding matched by the state, Massachusetts only offers a one-to-one match. Additionally, UMass Extension competes for resources with private entities as some public sector work is funded through competitive grants.

Adapting to Changing Needs

UMass Extension has adapted its approach to meet the evolving needs of farmers. While still providing direct assistance, the program now includes online education and targeted emails during the production season. The program’s website serves as a valuable resource for growers. Farmers trust the science-based approach of UMass Extension and rely on their expertise to make informed management decisions.

Insights from Other States

Brian Schilling, director of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, shared details about New Jersey’s efforts in agriculture. Despite challenges such as high land values and climate change, Schilling emphasized that the decline of the industry is not inevitable. He advised the state panel to consider the cumulative effect of regulations on small family farms.

Support from Extensions

Ali Mitchell, executive director of Northeast Extension Directors, highlighted the work done by extensions at various land grant universities. Mitchell emphasized that federal support has not kept up with inflation, leading to decreased core abilities while expectations continue to rise. The extensions play a crucial role in supporting farmers and promoting sustainable agriculture practices aligned with the SDGs.

Conclusion

The hearing provided valuable insights into the challenges faced by farmers and the efforts of UMass Extension and other extensions to support them. The panel acknowledged the importance of collaboration and continued support to ensure the success of agriculture in meeting the SDGs.

1. The SDGs addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article are:
– SDG 2: Zero Hunger
– SDG 13: Climate Action
– SDG 15: Life on Land

2. The specific targets under those SDGs that can be identified based on the article’s content are:
– SDG 2.4: By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters, and that progressively improve land and soil quality.
– SDG 13.1: Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.
– SDG 15.3: By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world.

3. The indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets are:
– Funding from the federal government for the UMass Extension Agriculture Program.
– Availability of technical assistance and education programs offered by the extension program.
– Online education and targeted emails provided by UMass Extension.
– Trust and belief in the science-based information provided by UMass Extension.
– Opportunities and resources for new technologies and production practices.
– Resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change and natural disasters.

4. Table:

| SDGs | Targets | Indicators |
|——|———|————|
| SDG 2: Zero Hunger | SDG 2.4: By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters, and that progressively improve land and soil quality. | – Funding from the federal government for the UMass Extension Agriculture Program.
– Availability of technical assistance and education programs offered by the extension program. |
| SDG 13: Climate Action | SDG 13.1: Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries. | – Trust and belief in the science-based information provided by UMass Extension.
– Opportunities and resources for new technologies and production practices. |
| SDG 15: Life on Land | SDG 15.3: By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world. | – Resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change and natural disasters. |

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: atholdailynews.com

 

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