"Climate Change, Resilience and the Future of Food" with Laura Lengnick

Date: 
Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 5:00pm
Location: 

Avogadro's Number, 605 S. Mason

How do we feed a growing world when the way that we eat fuels climate change? Drawing her travels in the U.S. and beyond, Dr. Laura Lengnick, soil scientist and author of Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate, will share some answers to this question when she visits Colorado at the end of this month to speak at a series of public events.

“A lot of fingers are pointed at agriculture and food as a big part of the climate change problem,” Lengnick said. “I wanted to explore the potential of our food system to be a powerful source of climate change solutions.” Her journey began on award-winning sustainable farms and ranches across America - including four farms in Colorado – but ultimately took her to Capitol Hill, the Paris climate talks and most recently on tour through Great Britain.

Lengnick discovered that a new vision of a climate resilient food system is emerging in America. This vision puts farmers and ranchers in partnership with the communities that they serve to produce healthy whole foods along with solutions to climate change. “This new kind of food system is already on the ground and growing in many parts of the world,” Lengnick explained, “including right here in Colorado.”

“Farmers like Steve Ela, in Hotchkiss, and Jacquie Monroe, in Kersey, produce and distribute vegetables, fruits, and meats to their customers all along the Front Range,” says Lengnick, “while ranchers like Mark Frasier in Woodrow produce cattle and growers like Brendon Rockey in Center, produce potatoes for regional and national markets.”

Along with producing good food, these farms and ranches also conserve farmland, sequester carbon, build healthy soils, improve water quality, protect wildlife, create jobs, and support other businesses in the region. “There is growing evidence,” Lengnick said, “that this new kind of food system provides some unique opportunities for enhancing the climate resilience of our communities.”

In order to take advantage of these opportunities, Lengnick believes that the U.S. food system must undergo two fundamental changes. The first is a shift from a large-scale industrial production model to a multi-scale ecological production model. The second is a shift in the geography of our supply from a global network to a diversity of regional networks oriented to major metropolitan areas.

“We all have a role to play in this transformation of our food system,” said Lengnick. “We need diversified growers producing food at all scales, food businesses investing in regional processing, distribution, retail, and waste management, and policy-makers looking for innovative ways to support this new kind of food system.”

But most of all,” Lengnick said, “we need eaters who are ready to work with farmers, ranchers and others in the food system to put us on the path to a sustainable and resilient food future.”

Lengnick will speak at the following dates and times:

Thursday, July 27th - 5:30pm | Limelight Hotel in Aspen, CO

Monday, July 31st - 5:30pm | Deer Creek Stables at Denver Botanical Gardens Chatfield Farms in Littleton, CO

Tuesday August 1st - 5:00pm | Avogadro's Number - Fort Collins, CO

All events are free and open to the public.

Lengnick’s visit to Colorado is sponsored by the 2Forks Club, an investment club awarding 0% interest loans to farmers in the Roaring Fork and North Fork valleys, along with support from the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, National Young Farmers Coalition, the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University, AspenSnowmass Skiing Company, Avogadro's Number, and the Denver Botanical Gardens.

Short Bio - Laura Lengnick is an award-winning soil scientist who has worked to put sustainability values into action in business, government, and higher education for more than 30 years. Her work in soil quality and sustainable farming was nationally recognized with a USDA Secretary’s Honor Award in 2002, and she contributed to the 3rd National Climate Assessment as a lead author of the 2012 USDA report “Climate Change and U.S. Agriculture: Effects and Adaptation.” Laura is founder and principal at Cultivating Resilience, LLC, a climate risk management firm based in Asheville, NC.

Sponsor: 
2Forks Club, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, National Young Farmers Coalition, SoGES, AspenSnowmass Skiing Company, Avo's, and the Denver Botanical Gardens