How farmers can fight climate change

This Iowan's farm has become a campaign stop for top 2020 candidates. This is why he argues that farmers could be at the forefront of the fight against climate change.

The farmer and attorney is an advocate for the idea of farmers working with each other to find creative solutions on issues related to climate change

Matt Russell wants farmers like himself to start leading the fight against climate change. According to Russell, farmers can make simple operational changes to be more carbon-neutral and have a positive impact on the environment. Since calling for these changes, Russell’s Iowa farm has become a campaign stop for 2020 presidential candidates. Russell says he would like to see the conversation about climate change move beyond the political lines in the sand that have sometimes been drawn.

Helping solve the problem efficiently and effectively

Climate change is a political issue as well, and many of the Democratic presidential candidates roaming Iowa have come up with rural plans and climate change proposals. A tour of candidate websites indicates many are supportive of biofuels and of other forms of alternative energy. But while many of the presidential candidates talk about policies and in some cases use climate change as political talking points, Russell is taking a more basic approach. He’s talking to farmers and trying to find ways of allowing them to solve problems.

Changing the economics to reward those farmers who are providing environmental services

“Right now, there's not a penny of federal dollars that are focused on delivering climate services. There's soil health, regenerative agriculture, there's some really good conservation stuff, but none of it is focused on climate. And we really have farmers across the political spectrum come together and say, "No, look, this is a big problem. That's what we do, solve problems every day. So, if you want our help, we can lead and solve this problem.” Beto O'Rourke asked to come to the farm, and then Senator Harris, and then, you know, Vice President Joe Biden in November. And so, it’s really been snowballing since”, Matt Russell tells Brut.

The message has showed up in every debate

Russell spent a decade working at the Drake University Agricultural Law Center before he left to head Iowa Interfaith Power & Light. He led a panel on climate change at a conference on soil that was sponsored by the Drake center.


02/03/2020 10:57 AMupdated: 02/05/2020 10:39 PM


  • Karen C.
    02/09/2020 21:49

  • Karen C.
    02/09/2020 21:49

  • Stacie L.
    02/09/2020 12:56

    This is Great! But if we are going to talk about incentives for farmers transitioning out of bad behaviors I want to see reward for those who took it upon themselves to make hard, expensive changes or never chose destructive mono crops in the first place!

  • Wendy B.
    02/08/2020 23:27

    This is brilliant make it work

  • Marilyn O.
    02/08/2020 20:18

    There is no mention about the harm of pesticides.

  • Colin N.
    02/08/2020 16:04

    Land management and soil conservation,or ecosystem services.................He is right,should be paid.By the way,I just went back to University age 71 and got myself a Post grad.Certificate in Ecosystem services Analysis.Try it.Opens the mind.

  • えら ラ.
    02/08/2020 11:19

    I miss Beto

  • Samantha S.
    02/08/2020 03:51

    Well then, farmers have an ethical obligation to MAKE these changes HAPPEN!!! Do it then! What are you waiting for??!

  • Ann Y.
    02/08/2020 02:53

    He is so right. The farming methods we have been using are killing the earth. We need to make it more sustainable, with less chemicals and artificial fertilisers and we need to do it now world wide. The farmers need help to change. they can't do it without help.

  • David B.
    02/08/2020 00:30

    All bs if your president does the opposite

  • Kady D.
    02/08/2020 00:24

    And ending pesticide use.

  • Wil B.
    02/07/2020 22:23

    Start with banning chemicals.

  • Susan P.
    02/07/2020 21:26

    Same farming environmental issues here in Australia. Diversity and innovation needed for farmers supported by the government and community

  • Hugo B.
    02/07/2020 19:55

    This is starting to sound like Interstellar.

  • Max R.
    02/07/2020 15:39

    Thank uuuu very much

  • Jacki E.
    02/07/2020 15:25

    I think he may be correct. Who knows how to work and heal the land better than a farmer? And they are familiar with fed and state regulations already. They would just need to be advised of boundaries working with acreage and square footage. Something else they are already experienced at. I say PUSH FOR IT!

  • Rick N.
    02/07/2020 15:15

    Stop breeding animals and killing them they are the ones eating the majority of soy and corn and they take up the land and creating climate change drastically going vegan is the # 1 way to go for health the planet and the animals don’t take my word do your research

  • Vickie S.
    02/07/2020 14:15

    Well, he's almost correct. Stop using GMO corn and soybeans , and chemicals would make tremendous changes.

  • Perry B.
    02/07/2020 12:03

    That's the spirit!! Get on it