Hitting Pay Dirt: How Sustainable Farming Can Help Mitigate Climate Change

Thursday, November 15, 2018, 6:00pm-7:30pm EST
Event format: 
In-Person / Local

Hitting Pay Dirt: How Sustainable Farming Can Help Mitigate Climate Change

When: Thursday, November 15, 6:00 - 7:30 pm

Where: Grand Traverse Pie Company

Address: 2600 N Saginaw Rd, Midland, MI 48640

Complimentary sandwiches will be available (first come, first serve) at 6 pm with the talk starting at 6:30 pm.

The lecture qualifies for one continuing education hour. CEH certificates are needed for licensed Professional Engineers to maintain their license and certificates will be provided to interested attendees.


Changing the way food is grown and harvested could allow humanity to hit a “snooze button” on rising atmospheric CO2 levels. Agricultural practices such as cover cropping, low to no tillage, farm intensification, or better N management (among others) could halt the rise of atmospheric CO2 for the next 20-30 years. The harvested CO2 would then be stored in the soil as humus or soil organic matter. This material would stay in the soil for as long as the farming practices were maintained and would have the added benefit of improving crop drought resistance and soil fertility. Starting with an overview of the global carbon cycle, we will move into soil structure and function and then into specific farming practices and their potential for carbon sequestration and food production. We will conclude with a discussion about what individuals can do and a list of resources for further study.

About the Speaker:

Rebecca Ladewski grew up on a small fruit farm in southwest Michigan. She followed a passion for analytical thinking and mathematics away from the farm to The University of Notre Dame, where she received a B.A. in philosophy and a B.S. in chemical engineering in 2007. She continued studying chemical engineering at MIT, conducting research in dye-sensitized solar cells and receiving a Ph.D. in 2012. She then moved back to Michigan to work for The Dow Chemical Company in coatings research and development. In 2018, she elected to "retire" to spend more time with her family and to re-evaluate a career in agriculture as an avenue to practice scientific and analytical thinking. Currently, she is studying the ongoing management of her family's sesquicentennial farm, learning organic farming practices at Good Stead Farm, and actively reviewing the literature about sustainable agriculture and its potential for carbon capture and sequestration. She lives in Midland, MI with her husband and two small children.