Jacobs Farm del Cabo is addressing climate change with a new program that identifies climate-related risks and adaptation challenges for vulnerable smallholder farms and develops solutions to reduce these risks, ensuring their farms thrive far into the future.
The del Cabo collective was founded on a simple mission: to share environmentally sustainable farming knowledge with Baja farmers to support their families’ and communities’ economic empowerment.
“For more than 35 years, this collaboration between JFDC and Baja growers has provided over 1,200 farming families with a much-improved quality of life and a sustainable economic engine for their communities,” says director of sales and marketing Aaron Brookes. “But farming in Baja was different 35 years ago. As recent extreme weather events have increased in frequency and magnitude, so have the impacts of these events on organic production and farming communities.”
“The goal of this new program is to work with del Cabo farmers to combine knowledge and experience necessary to adapt to these changes, and proactively build a more sustainable and resilient food system,” Brookes adds.
The program is spearheaded by Dr. Jose DiBella from the University of Waterloo’s Department of Geography and Environmental Management. Jose is a climate and disaster risk specialist with expertise in business model innovation, a native of Baja California, and a farmer’s grandson. Jose works closely with a select team of JFDC employees to lead this program.
To assemble the team, JFDC recruited the first cohort of three young, local student trainees— each actively attending university or coming from second-generation farming families. The selected students will gain valuable hands-on experience centered around climate change and how it impacts our food and growing systems.
The student trainees work alongside participating del Cabo farmers to map climate risks in their farming operations, collect data on where climate change has made an existing impact on their farms, as well as identify areas that have the potential for future impact. One key area of focus is soil health which, when cultivated properly, has the potential to provide crops with increased resilience to external changes. The trainees document soil type and quality to identify areas for improvement. Further, they are collecting information on farm level priorities and the needs of each farmer.
The geographic data collected is recorded in a mobile-based app, which will generate fully informed maps of the collective’s many growing zones. This mapping system will allow the company to visibly track the impact of the team’s efforts, understand recurring trends across farming regions, and proactively develop solutions for farms facing common climate-related risks across Baja and mainland Mexico.
To learn more about our impact and commitment to a healthier and more sustainable future, head to www.JacobsFarmdelCabo.com.