The Obama administration announced seven, regional “climate hubs” on Wednesday, aimed at researching and helping farmers and ranchers mitigate the effects of climate change.
The release notes that radical climate changes made farming much riskier, threatening both the country’s food source and economy.
“In the Midwest, growing seasons have lengthened by almost two weeks since 1950. The fire season is now 60 days longer than it was 30 years ago, and forests will become increasingly threatened by insect outbreaks, fire, drought and storms over the next 50 years,” Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack said in a statement. “Drought alone was estimated to cost the U.S. $50 billion from 2011 to 2013.”
The centers will be overseen by the Department of Agriculture and follow the president’s promise in the State of the Union to act aggressively on climate change; he has also promised to move forward on his goals with or without Congress, using executive orders when needed.
“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,” Vilsack said.
The hubs will be in Ames, Iowa, Durham, New Hampshire, Raleigh, North Carolina, Fort Collins, Colorado, El Reno, Oklahoma, Corvallis, Oregon, and La Cruses, New Mexico. Three smaller, more focused hubs will be established in Houghton, Michigan, Pio Piedras, Puerto Rico, and Davis, California.