‘Climate Hubs’ to help farmers mitigate the impacts of climate change

WASHINGTON — On the heels of the Senate’s passage of the farm bill, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the Obama Administration announced the creation of the first ever regional hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change at seven locations around the country.

Climate Action Plan

As part of the President’s Climate Action Plan, “climate hubs” are designed to address risks such as fires, invasive pests, devastating floods, and droughts on a regional basis, translating science and research into information farmers, ranchers, and landowners can use to inform their resource management.

“USDA’s Climate Hubs are part of our broad commitment to developing the next generation of climate solutions, so that our agricultural leaders have the modern technologies and tools they need to adapt and succeed in the face of a changing climate,” said Vilsack.

Climate hubs

The hubs will provide outreach and information to producers on ways to mitigate risks; public education about the risks climate change poses to agriculture, ranchlands and forests; regional climate risk and vulnerability assessments; and centers of climate forecast data and information.

Hubs will also link a network of partners participating in climate risk adaptation and mitigation, including universities; non-governmental organizations; federal agencies such as the Department of Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Native Nations and organizations; state departments of environment and agriculture; research centers; and farm groups.

Climate hubs explained 

NPR’s news show, Here & Now talked with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack about the new hubs:

Sub hubs

In addition to the seven Hubs, USDA is designating three subsidiary hubs that will function within the Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest. They will support the hub within their region and focus on a narrow and unique set of issues relative to what will be going on in the rest of the hub.

The following locations will serve as their region’s center of climate change information and outreach:

Climate hubs map

  • Midwest: National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Agricultural Research Service, Ames, Iowa
  • Midwest Sub-Hub in Houghton, Mich.
  • Northeast: Northern Research Station, Forest Service, Durham, N.H.
  • Southeast: Southern Research Station, Forest Service, Raleigh N.C.
  • Southeast Sub-Hub in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
  • Northern Plains: National Resources Center, Agricultural Research Service, Fort Collins, Colo.
  • Southern Plains: Grazinglands Research Lab, Agricultural Research Service, El Reno, Okla.
  • Pacific Northwest: Pacific Northwest Research Station, Forest Service, Corvallis, Ore.
  • Southwest: Rangeland Management Unit/Jornada Experimental Range, Agricultural Research Service, Las Cruces, N.M.
  • Southwest Sub-hub in Davis, Calif.

Vilsack said, “If we are to be effective in managing the risks from a shifting climate, we’ll need to ensure that our managers in the field and our stakeholders have the information they need to succeed. That’s why we’re bringing all of that information together on a regionally-appropriate basis.”

Additional information

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