The U.S Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday it plans to set up seven new research hubs across the country to help farmers adapt to climate change.
In the past few years, farmers across the Midwest have grappled with epic drought, mega-blizzards and crippling heat.
“The combination of all those factors convinces me that the climate is changing and it will have its impact,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
These new hubs, anchored in different regions, are tasked with charting how climate change poses risks to farming, ranching and forestry. Then devising strategies to adapt.
“If we are not proactive, as the president has directed, we will find ourselves 5, 10, 15, 20 years down the road wishing we had done what we’re doing today,” Vilsack said.
The climate study centers focusing on the Midwest will be located within existing USDA facilities in Fort Collins, Colorado, El Reno, Oklahoma and Ames, Iowa.
Harvest Public Media, based at KCUR, is a collaborative public media project that reports on important agricultural issues in the Midwest. You can read more about the project on their website.