‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌
 
Click here to see this online
 
 
 

July 5, 2019

 

 
 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s 2017 Census of Agriculture includes data about everything from farmer demographics to cover crop acreage. The 2017 Census reports 13.8 million acres devoted to pasture and grazing land that could have been used for crop production. This is an 8% increase from the 2012 Census, which reported 12.8 million acres. Despite this increase, the first time in 20 years that the number has increased, it is still well below historic levels. Since the 1997 high of 66.4 million acres, the amount of cropland used for pasture has steadily declined. In contrast, “permanent” grassland decreased between from 2012 and 2017 by 3.5%, from 415.3 million to 400.7 million acres. For the past 20 years this number has hovered at around 400 million. NSAC is cautiously optimistic at the uptick in cropland being used for pasture, as grasslands are highly productive ecosystems that support an abundance of plants and animals and provide a wide range of ecological benefits (e.g., water filtration, flood mitigation, erosion control, wildlife habitat, and carbon sequestration). 

 

 

 

 

 
 

The Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University reports on a recent survey that found that a majority of Americans are worried that extreme heat, drought, flooding, or water shortages might harm their local area. Fewer are worried about the impacts of wildfires, hurricanes, or reduced snowpack, although these are likely influenced by geographic location. More than four in ten Americans (44%) think they will be harmed by global warming, while more think their family (48%), and/or people in their community (48%) will be harmed. More than half of Americans think global warming will harm people in the U.S. (59%), people in developing countries (64%), the world’s poor (64%), future generations of people (69%), and/or plant and animal species (71%).

 

 
 

Regardless of our age or culture, scientists have found that nature can be restorative to most humans. But how? One theory is that it is hardwired into our brains. Ancient humans had to be good observers of their surroundings because their lives depended on being mindful. So for a prehistoric individual to be engrossed by their surroundings, means they likely survived longer and were able to pass along their genes. Chris Enroth, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, reports that this inherent fascination with nature is in all of us, which has led to some interesting rewards that our brain sends out that can help deal with both emotional and physical stresses. Immersing oneself in nature is good, and the act of gardening goes one-step further. The physical activity and sense of accomplishment are huge benefits to human health. In addition, the great thing about plants is that they respond to human care in a non-threatening way and plants don't discriminate. Cultivating a plant or entire garden can be a huge boost to self-esteem.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

July 14-17 (Columbia, MO) - Community Development Society Annual Conference

July 18 - Opioid / Substance Misuse Conference

July 25 (Deadline) - Governor's Hometown Awards

August 12-15 (Moline) - Midwest Community Development Institute

October 25-26 (Dubuque) - Growing Sustainable Communities Conference