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New conservation fellows for Nebraska farmers

New conservation fellows for Nebraska farmers


By Scout Nelson

The Center for Rural Affairs has announced the selection of several beginning farmers for its prestigious Conservation Fellowship program. This initiative aims to provide these farmers with advanced training and resources to enhance their knowledge and skills in conservation practices, climate change adaptation, and leadership within the agricultural sector.

Angelyn Wang, a local foods associate with the Center, highlighted the significance of working lands conservation practices such as cover cropping, rotational grazing, and pollinator habitats for maintaining soil health and environmental sustainability while ensuring food production.

The fellows participating in the program will benefit from a comprehensive curriculum developed in collaboration with partners and experts in the field.

The fellowship curriculum includes coursework covering various topics, including conservation programs and practices, climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, racial equity in agriculture, and leadership development.

Through a combination of classes, field days, and hands-on projects, the fellows will gain practical insights and skills to implement sustainable farming practices on their own farms.

One of the key components of the fellowship is the design and implementation of a conservation project on the fellows' farms or the land they are farming. This hands-on experience will allow them to apply the knowledge and techniques learned during the program while contributing to the conservation efforts in their communities.

The fellows will have the opportunity to showcase their work and share their experiences at the annual Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Conference, further amplifying the impact of their conservation efforts and inspiring others in the agricultural community.

The 2024 fellows represent a diverse group of beginning farmers from various backgrounds and regions across Nebraska. Among them are Shahab Bashar, Amy Gerdes, Corinne Kolm, Gus and Stephanie Leigh, Sandro Lopes, Angela Mueller, Riley Reinke, and Laura Simpson.

Each fellow brings unique perspectives and experiences to the program, contributing to a rich learning environment and fostering collaboration among participants.

The fellowship program also aims to support beginning farmers who have been actively farming in Nebraska for fewer than 10 years. By providing them with access to specialized training and mentorship opportunities, the Center for Rural Affairs seeks to empower these farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices and become leaders in their communities.

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