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Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Fellowship

Together, we envision a better way to support peer-to-peer climate adaptation and mitigation.

The Climate Adaptation Fellowship (now Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Fellowship) was launched in 2019 in response to farmers’ need for information and technical assistance related to climate change. The first iteration of the program focused on the Northeast region of the United States. 

Curriculum development

A collaborative team including researchers from land grant universities, farmers, extension professionals, and personnel from USDA Agricultural Research Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service and Forest Service, developed  a set of peer-reviewed, climate-focused curricula. These curricula cover dairy, small fruit and vegetables, tree fruit, and forestry sectors. 

The curricula are designed to give farmers, foresters, and advisors the information they need to adapt to climate change, bring climate change into their outreach programs, and talk about climate change with peers and colleagues. The materials, which include a combination of course outlines, teaching notes, slide decks, and activity materials, are designed to be flexible and accommodate the interests of participants. Each module is designed to help farmers, foresters, and service providers improve their knowledge about climate change impacts, and their ability to make good planning decisions related to climate change adaptation and mitigation. The curricula also include resources for accessing localized climate data, which can improve on-the-ground decision making.

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"CAMF has made me less hesitant to talk about climate change. Our approach has been to just talk about it in a matter of fact way, no drama, no gloom and doom. I feel like this approach has reduced tension in conversations that I have had about climate change."

Emmalea Ernest, Agricultural Advisor Fellow (‘21-22)

Piloting the Program

In 2021, the small fruit and vegetable program was piloted, supported by a Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NE-SARE) professional development grant. USDA Northeast Climate Hub personnel provided project leadership, and curriculum development support. Thirty-four fellows participated in the pilot. Over the course of a year, fellows met for two workshops and a series of informal meetings. They worked in pairs (one farmer and one agricultural advisor) to conduct risk assessments, generate adaptation plans, set up field demonstrations, and attend outreach event. 

Out of 34 Fellows (17 farmer fellows, 13 agricultural advisor fellows, and 4 farmer/agricultural advisors) from the pilot program:

  • 12 Agricultural advisor fellows agreed or strongly agreed that their confidence in incorporating climate change issues into their programing has increased since the beginning of the program.
  • 14 Agricultural advisors intend to use knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness learned through this project in their educational activities and services for farmers.
  • 14 Farmers reported changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness as a result of their participation.
  • 13 Farmers reported that after the program, their confidence in addressing climate change on their farm increased.
  • 15 Farmers reported making changes or adopting climate adaptation/mitigation practices after engaging in the program.
  • 28 Fellows reported that hearing other fellows discussing their adaptation strategies made them think in a new way about climate adaptation strategies they could use on their farms or incorporate into their programs.
  • 23 Fellows reported that the program helped them to identify resources to improve their ability to communicate about climate change. 

Since the program ended in 2022, many fellows have continued to act as climate leaders within their communities. Farmers fellows have spoken at conferences and workshops, and service provider fellows have created their own climate-focused programming within their organizations.

“I feel like climate conversations are more central to my work [now] and a goal is to express that more clearly.”

Becky Maden, Agricultural Advisor Fellow (‘21-22)

Current Fellowship Offerings

Beginning in 2024, four new climate adaptation and mitigation fellowship programs will take place in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States. Cohorts of farmers and agricultural advisors will learn about climate impacts, adaptation and mitigation strategies, and other topics including financing adaptation and mitigation plans, and climate communication. Working together and with support from Educator Teams, farmer and advisor pairs will create climate adaptation and mitigation plans for farmer fellow’s farms. This fellowship also includes a stipend for farmer fellows, drop-in support meetings for fellows during the planning process, and guest speakers covering requested topics.

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“I am now in a network of knowledgeable people who are also working on global warming solutions, and hope to reach out to them in the future.”

Ben Crockett, Farmer Fellow (‘21-22)


The development of the Climate Adaptation Fellowship curriculum was led by the University of Vermont Extension, in close collaboration with the USDA Northeast Climate Hub, the USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub, the University of Maine, Rutgers University, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Pennsylvania State University, the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Manomet, and the Forest Stewards Guild. Development of the Climate Adaptation Fellowship curriculum was supported by the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) (Award #2017-68002-26728), USDA Northeast Climate Hub Joint Venture Agreement 14-JV-11232306-103, the Rutgers Climate Institute, and University of Vermont Extension.

The vegetable and fruit pilot program was led by the University of Maine, in close collaboration with the USDA Northeast Climate Hub, University of Vermont, and Rutgers University. This project was supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NE SARE) program (Award # ENE20-164-34268), and USDA Northeast Climate Hub Joint Venture Agreement 20-JV-11242306-087.

The Women and Non-Binary Vegetable and Small Fruit Producers, Row Crops, and Diversified Agriculture and Agroforestry Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Fellowship cohorts in 2024 - 2026 are led by the University of Maine, in close collaboration with the USDA Northeast Climate Hub, USDA Midwest Climate Hub, USDA National Agroforestry Center, University of Vermont, Rutgers University, Michigan State University, American Farmland Trust, and Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. These programs are supported by USDA NIFA (Award # 2023-67020-40526). 

Project Status



University of Maine, USDA Midwest Climate Hub, USDA National Agroforestry Center, American Farmland Trust, Rutgers University , University of Vermont Extension, Michigan State University Extension, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association