By Jennifer Lentfer, Senior Writer, Oxfam America’s Aid Effectiveness team; Editor, Politics of Poverty blog
This post is recap of the "Managing Risks Associated with Volatile Weather, Changing Climates, and Resource Scarcity" panel at our fifth Global Food Security Symposium 2014 in Washington, DC.
Two of Patrick F. O’Toole’s children and six of his grandchildren still live on the “family farm” near the Colorado River headwaters. This, he told The Chicago Council Global Food Security Symposium today, is what farmers want—to enable next generations to be connected to the land.
O’Toole told the audience of policymakers in Washington, DC, that another important part of farmers’ identity is to be problem solvers in the long- and short-term. Even though farmers look at resources with an intergenerational lens, they have immediate concerns that require attention.
There is no greater concern for farmers these days than climate change and the resulting effects on their land and livelihoods. O’Toole described how his farm has already seen its wettest and driest seasons in its history in this decade. As a result of this volatility, he and most other farmers in the West of the US are already managing for increased risk.