The climate crisis is affecting all of us, but the impact is particularly devastating for our food systems. And to make it even worse – our food production systems are contributing to the problem!
Agriculture is one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gases – nitrous oxide from fertilizer overuse, methane from cattle and livestock, and carbon dioxide from farm equipment. And that’s not even counting the carbon emissions from unsustainable soil management practices, and the loss of potential carbon sinks! The climate crisis is reducing farm productivity and making food more expensive, and our industrial agriculture processes are making it worse.
On top of that – there are so many justice and human rights issues at stake. Rising food costs impact low-income households more; healthy and sustainably-produced food is out of reach for many people in America; affordable farmland is very difficult to find for young aspiring farmers; the government continues to subsidize unsustainable farm practices and crops; and critical programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – aka food stamps) are under constant threat of having their budgets slashed.
Here’s the good news. There is so much that YOU can do to take action today! Support local farmers by purchasing locally grown or locally produced products, and encourage your friends and family to do so as well! Join a community garden, or start your own garden. Ask your local school board to bring sustainable food choices to school cafeterias.
Are you talking to someone with different political views or a different background than yours? Focus on finding common ground. For example, everyone loves food! Start by talking about how you want to see better and more affordable food for all Wisconsinites, and you want Wisconsin farmers to be able to earn a good living. Talk about how you look forward to having a future in which everyone can thrive. Check out this helpful 4 minute video on how to talk (and listen!) about climate.
But most importantly… contact your elected officials! They want to hear from you, and they’ll listen to what you have to say. Tell them that you’re a young person who cares about the climate, food justice, public health, and sustainable agriculture.
Not sure where to get started? Use our action page to send them a message – you can use the pre-written message we’ve filled in, but your comments will have more weight if they’re personalized. You can call your elected officials and leave messages, or you can email them or contact them via a form on their website. They’re also on social media! Tag them in a post on Facebook, Instagram, or X (and, if they’re a particularly tech-savvy politician, maybe on TikTok, Threads, and other emerging social media platforms). To make it a bit easier for you, we’ve included links to some of the officials who might represent you below.
Write from the heart. Your message will carry more weight if it sounds genuine and human. Don’t worry too much about sounding like an expert – focus more on conveying your passion! And if the elected official (or their staff) reply, think about asking for a meeting!
Want some help writing a message? Or maybe you managed to secure a meeting with someone, and you want some help preparing? Reach out to us at 350 Wisconsin! We’re here to help. Contact Emily Park (email@example.com)!
Thank you for taking action!
“The Farm Bill Uprooted” from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. This is a fantastic 6 part series about the Farm Bill and how it relates to climate, justice, food insecurity, and much more. The references listed at the bottom of their page for Episode 6 (“Solutions”) has been invaluable for understanding the marker bills discussed in the podcast.
“A Farm Bill for All” from The Michael Fields Agricultural Institute also provides great information, especially about the Farm Bill’s legislative process.
USDA website provides Information about programs like EQIP, ACEP, CSP, and the rest of the alphabet soup.