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Diane Dysart 
Kansas Rural Center 
785 873 3431 


Saturday November 20, 2010 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM CST

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Flint Hills Technical College 
3301 W.18th Ave
Emporia, KS

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Kansas Center for Sustainable Ag and Alternative Crops

Keynote:  Joel Brown

Climate Change and Agriculture: Challenges and Responses

Climate change, whether natural or human caused, presents some serious challenges to agriculture. Agricultural producers are very familiar with responding to variable climate. However, projected increases in climate variability will require an even more flexible approach to management. An important aspect of responding is a realistic assessment of the risks, and development of responses, monitoring, and decision systems to guide implementation.

Joel Brown is a rangeland ecologist at the Jornada Experimental Range with the USDA NRCS where he is involved in research and development of land classification systems, carbon sequestration on rangelands, and grazing land ecology. He also works as the CSIRO (Australia) Project Leader and scientist, and NRCS Global Change Leader and Cooperating Scientist with the ARS Jornada Experimental Range. He holds a BS in Agriculture/Botany from Fort Hays State University, an MS in Grazing Ecology and PhD in Shrubland Ecology,  both from Texas A&M University. He spoke on climate change and the impact on agriculture at the 2002 Kansas Sustainable Agriculture Conference.

Breakout Sessions include:

Ecological Approaches to Farming: Models and Practices for a Sustainable System
Trends in the Production and Marketing of  Grassfed Beef
Hoop Houses 101
Production and Marketing of Grass-fed Beef in Kansas

Opportunities for Local and Regional Food in Kansas
Growing Healthy: School and Community Gardens
Specialty Crop Insurance
GAPs–Good Agricultural Practices for Food Safety
Marketing Organic Grain: Trends and Challenges
Scaling-Up and Diversifying: A Tale of Two Farmers

Kansas Smoke Management: Melding Legislation and Production Practices to Preserve Prairie Ecosystems  
Cover Crops: The Next Frontier in Farming  
Patch-Burn Grazing the Prairies of Kansas  
Bio Char

Food Policy Councils
Financial and Resource Assistance for Sustainable Ag Farms
Intergenerational Farm Transitions: Planning for Success
Farm Bill 2012: What Does the Future Hold?

2010 KRC Ag Conference Logo

Food, farming, climate change, carbon footprints, environmental risks—open any popular publication today or click onto any number of online news services, and you will find stories about these issues are increasing.  As more people understand the link between how we raise our food, how we treat our resources, and how we treat each other, food and farming become critical issues for our future food security and well-being.  Even as population trends count more of us as urban dwellers, an increasing number of people are concerned about where their food comes from, what the story is about how it was raised, and what are the environmental, social and economic impacts—good or bad—of its journey from field to plate.

At the Kansas Rural Center (KRC), we think this growing interest is positive, and that identifying shared values and common concerns are the way forward.

KRC is hosting a one-day conference of speakers and workshops for people interested in learning more about climate change and its challenges for agriculture, the budding “food movement” of local and regional production and business opportunities, how to approach the transfer of land to the next generation, plus many more ways of “connecting cows, carbon, and carrots”  to reach an understanding of practical approaches and strategies to adapt to the future.

The purpose of the conference is to provide an opportunity to: discuss the big picture of agriculture and our food system as we continue down the path of change and challenges; provide practical information on production and marketing ideas; and provide opportunities for farmer, rancher, and consumer networking.

Join us on November 20, 2010 as we discuss and debate the practical to the political of food and farming for a sustainable future.