Brandon United Church Supports Small-Scale Farmers Through Climate Fund

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The extreme droughts and unpredictable weather affecting small-scale farmers in developing countries are a world away for most Canadians.

But for members of Knox United Church in Brandon, Manitoba, the plight of small-scale farmers in countries like Ethiopia and Haiti hits home.

According to Rev. Craig Miller, minister at Knox United, many of the church’s members are retired farmers who have a strong connection to the land and environment.

Hearing about small-scale farmers struggling to adapt to climate change as they farm in harsh conditions and with few safety nets resonated with them.

“People here take great pride that we’re in an area where farmers are the bread basket of the world,” says Miller. “We help feed the world.”

That heart for farmers in another part of the world is what motivated the church to contribute to the Climate Fund of Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

Donations to the Climate Fund are used to fund projects in the developing world that help small-scale farmers adapt to the effects of climate change.

The majority of people around the world who are hungry are also small-scale farmers.

They often work marginal land, and lack proper training and crop inputs. A crop failure can mean the difference between eating only one meal a day or three, or being able to send children to school.

As weather conditions become more erratic and unpredictable due to climate change, many small-scale farmers are struggling to provide for their families.

Miller says the church’s commitment to making a difference through the Climate Fund was re-solidified during a presentation last fall by Stephanie McDonald, a policy advisor for the Foodgrains Bank, who talked about her experiences meeting with Haitian farmers affected by climate change.

“You could see that our members were touched to see the work that was going on in Haiti,” says Miller.

Proceeds from the 2017 Climate Fund will go to a project of Foodgrains Bank member Presbyterian World Service & Development in the San Marcos region of Guatemala. The project is supporting 250 farming families in adapting to the effects of climate change.

For Miller, contributing to the Climate Fund is natural way for members to share their abundance while recognizing the importance of caring for God’s land.

“It’s something that brings us great joy and satisfaction as we seek a cure for the earth.”

Learn more about the Climate Fund.

–Shaylyn McMahon