Feb. 2020 🐝 Food & Farming Policy News

We hired a policy director! Meet him (+ election dates)

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Dear Rebecca,

If you’re anything like me, you’re checking the weather forecasts several times a week at this point, and getting everything ready for spring planting. It’s one of my favorite times of year, as the days slowly start getting warmer and longer.

Unfortunately, for farmers all across the Carolinas and indeed the country, things like the weather are getting less and less predictable. From droughts that linger longer than usual and hundred-year floods happening every few years, to shifting harvest times and resilient pests moving farther north, farmers are often the first to confront the harsh realities of climate change.

As highlighted in my recommended article below, young and beginning farmers are often particularly vulnerable to weather extremes, as they are typically in weaker financial positions than older and more experienced farmers. Rural communities, as well, often lack the resources and infrastructure to deal with the crises as they happen.

To draw legislators’ and policymakers’ attention to the impacts of a changing climate on agriculture, we encourage any and all farmers and ranchers to sign this letter from farmers on climate change solutions. Sponsored by our partners at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, this letter is an important way to get those in charge to understand the critical role that agriculture plays in this discussion. (If you do not farm, please do not sign the letter; consider sharing the letter with your farmers instead.)

5c7b6b7a-10b2-4dc3-a3ff-fb1d476b2715.pngStay engaged,
Matt

Matt Kneece, South Carolina Policy Coordinator

PS – We hired a policy director! The new director of the policy team is Nick Wood! While he’ll introduce himself in the next issue of The Buzz, here’s a little bit about him:

Nick Wood comes to CSFA with 20 years of experience in advocacy and community organizing with a focus on issues affecting rural communities. He grew up in the Yakima Valley in eastern Washington before moving to North Carolina to attend UNC-Chapel Hill, where he earned a bachelor’s in communications and a JD from the school of law.

Nick began his career advocating for farmworkers as a college student and, since then, has worked on many issues including climate change, coal ash, pipelines, renewable energy, water, fracking, housing, and health care on the local, state, and regulatory level.

In his spare time, Nick enjoys driving on backroads around North Carolina, fantasy football, and quality time with his ridiculous gray cat.

Mark Your Calendars with 2020 Election Dates!
Since 2020 is an election year, mark your calendars with your state’s election dates (SC’s election calendar, NC’s election calendar).

South Carolina:

  • Feb. 29: Democratic Presidential Primary
  • May 8: Voter registration deadline (State Primary Election)
  • June 9: Primary Election Day 2020
  • Oct. 2-5: Voter registration deadline (General Election)
  • Nov. 3: General Election

North Carolina:

  • Mar. 3: Primary Election Day 2020
  • Oct. 9: Voter Registration Deadline (General Election)
  • Nov. 3: General Election
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
My wife and I recently discovered a powerful new film called Honeyland, a documentary that follows the day-to-day life of a Macedonian beekeeper who still uses traditional apiary methods.

Nominated for Best Feature Documentary at this year’s Oscars, the film explores several important topics, including organic farming, environmental sustainability, and biodiversity loss. Honeyland is currently on Hulu, and I encourage anyone who can to find a way to watch it.