Farmer-leaders Schwagerl, Lunemann named to Governor’s Advisory Council on Climate Change
September 24, 2020
Minnesota’s family farmers are facing a tough battle with our drastically changing climate. Intense heat, heavy rainfalls and difficult pests create obstacles in a career already marked by the uncertainty of weather. And the news of wildfires and hurricanes elsewhere in the country are making climate change’s threat impossible to ignore.
But farmers are stepping up and helping find solutions. The grassroots organization Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) recognizes that climate change is a major risk and that there’s much to do to overcome it. Two of the organization’s farmer members, Anne Schwagerl and Pat Lunemann, have been appointed to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s Advisory Council on Climate Change.
“I am humbled to join the impressive group of leaders assembled to assist the state of Minnesota in addressing climate change,” said Schwagerl, who farms grains and pastured hogs with her family in Browns Valley, Big Stone County, and is the MFU State Secretary. “Along with farmers across the state, my livelihood is dependent on being able to adapt to and mitigate the effects of a changing climate. I am excited to explore and develop plans to meet these challenges head on in partnership with the Governor, the other members of the council and stakeholders from across the state.”
“I have watched our climate change in my career as a farmer,” said Lunemann, a family dairy farmer in Clarissa, Todd County. “I hope to provide a farmer’s perspective to the Advisory Council and be an advocate for how agriculture can be a partner in climate solutions. My hope is that my many years in agricultural leadership roles will provide many connections to bring more than just my skills to this council.”
Thanks to the work of people like Schwagerl and Lunemann, MFU’s member-created policy includes strong support for climate-smart and ecologically sustainable agriculture practices.
“I want to thank Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan for making sure that Anne and Pat are there to represent farmers on the council,” MFU President Gary Wertish said. “Like other farmers, they experience the effects of climate change in their farming operations, be that through flooding or other extreme weather events. We appreciate the administration recognizing agriculture’s role in climate solutions.”
A full list of the Advisory Council members can be found here.
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Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Working for Farmers (www.mfu.org)