On Monday, October 26, the White House recognized 12 individuals from across the country as White House Champions of Change for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture. These individuals were selected by the White House for their achievements and are honored for exemplary leadership and innovation in agricultural production and education. The Champions have helped implement agricultural practices that promote soil health and energy efficiency, improve water quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change can no longer be seen as a distant threat. It is already impacting forest, grassland, and cropland systems in the United States, and is threatening agricultural producers and their communities. These Champions understand the challenges our nation is facing from a changing climate and are taking steps to build resilience to the impacts of climate change, which also protects their bottom line. The program featured remarks by United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
Loretta Jaus and her husband Martin operate a 410-acre, rotationally-grazed, 60-cow dairy farm in south-central Minnesota. In 1980, with Biology and Wildlife Management degrees, the couple settled in as the fourth generation on Martin’s family farm. Their training created a solid foundation for the farm’s conservation focus and subsequent transition to certified-organic production. Loretta currently serves on the boards of the Land Stewardship Project and Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, has functioned as organic representative in Environmental Initiative’s Agricultural Leadership Dialogue project, and as an educator for CROPP Cooperative/Organic Valley’s Outreach and Education Program.
Watch the full White House ceremony. Farmers honored at 42 minutes in.