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Conservation in a Changing Climate (2022-2023)

Conservation in a Changing Climate (2022-2023)

Program: Graham Sustainability Scholars Program
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Farm with red barn

Working in partnership with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), this Graham Scholars team created recommendations and resources for MDARD to help Michigan farmers navigate climate change and economic challenges while preserving farmland in the state.

The team conducted in-person visits and interviews with farmers who have conservation easements. More broadly, they distributed a survey about farmers' crop output, views on changing weather patterns, and their interactions with MDARD. The survey also explored farmers' interest in receiving information from MDARD and identified areas where support is needed.

Recognizing stakeholder interest in solar development on agricultural land, the team developed an informational pamphlet on small-scale solar based on insights from meetings with professionals and attendance at the Michigan Solar Conference.

Ultimately, the team recommended that MDARD tailor resources to farmers’ needs and encourage small-scale solar adoption among farmers.