Central Ohio Farmer Honored For Work With Crops, Climate Change


UPDATED: Thursday April 11, 2013 6:34 PM

The White House is applauding the efforts of a central Ohio farmer who is trying to feed the world and save the planet at the same time.

Fred Yoder is among a dozen people being named a Champion of Change.

"I don't want to get into the debate of what's the cause, whether it's natural or man-made, the problem is - it's here," said Yoder.

The Madison/Union County farmer has been working the land for nearly 40 years, and he said the climate is changing.

"When I grew up on the farm, we could plant for two months. Today, we've got about a two week, 10-day window," explained Yoder.

Yoder said changing weather patterns are prompting him, and other farmers, to change the way they do business.

Over the years, Yoder has seen extreme weather like droughts, winds, floods and snow storms. He said the corn harvest must always go on.

While some talk of climate change strikes fear in many farmers, for Yoder, it's about looking for silver linings instead of silver bullets to solve the problem.

"Maybe there's another crop that we need to be looking into growing, instead of just corn and soy bean," he said. "There's lot of silver buckshot, not silver bullet to make a difference."

Yoder is making a difference, and that's why he is being honored in by the White House as a Champion of Change.

He said one simple change of putting down the plow in the fall has him, and the environment, reaping benefits.

"I just open a slot in the ground to put the seed in and leave the cover on top, and one thing that has done, one of the benefits, is wildlife. We have more wildlife on this farm then we've had in my memory," said Yoder.

One of many steps farmers like Yoder are taking to preserve the land they love.

"Let's face it, let's deal with it, let's adapt and let's figure out ways we can raise food, feed and fiber and fuel for everyone, in a way that's not going to hurt the environment," he said.

Yoder recently chaired the development of a paper relating climate change adaptation to producing enough food, feed, fiber and fuel for the world's growing population.

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