Rural Development

Rural America is a changing landscape, where renewable energy, new markets for food and crops, and new residents can serve as a basis for more resilient and sustainable farms, rural economies and ecosystems.

Over 75 percent of the United States is a rural area. Rural communities will most severely feel the impact of climate change through crop loss and extreme weather damage including flooding. 

For more information about the Rural Climate Dialogues, visit the homepage on the Rural Climate Network website. 

Lessons from Forest Biomass

The "chicken or the egg" challenge of expanding renewable energy based on biomass has to do with finding a reliable source of biomass itself. We can't make the transition to using more biomass without a reliable supply. But it's difficult to find the supply, without the facilities to send it to?

The Travesty of Child Labor

Mark Muller’s personal account of his work with a farmer cooperative in Honduras that uses child labor points to the complexities of this issue. As Mark suggests, there are many factors contributing to child labor, some domestic, some related to free trade.

Searching for clarity on biofuels

IATP finds itself in an interesting place in the recent tidal wave of interest around biofuels. Our initial interest came from our work with local farmers and rural communities in Minnesota and surrounding states. These farmers and their communities were looking for a way to add value to their crops when prices were at record lows. The debate was far from today's discussion of food scarcity.

After the Flood

A few weeks ago, heavy rains flooded a stretch of land along the Minnesota and Wisconsin border that is home to hundreds of organic farmers. Reports have been devastating - with many individual farms reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.