Down to Earth

Many federal, state, and local agencies, as well as non-profits and community groups, carry the responsibility of helping people and fixing infrastructure after a disaster, and some of them also work to try to prevent or mitigate disasters before they happen. But how to they coordinate with each other, and how do they really meet the needs on the ground?
Shantini Ramakrishnan leads conservation and restoration education programs at the Conservation Science Center of the New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute at New Mexico State University at Highlands.
Jonas Moya is New Mexico Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency.
In this podcast they talk about what it takes to keep the system working for people on the ground, and how they think about cultivating resilience on the land and in rural communities.

Fire  Photo by Marcus Kauffman on Unsplash


Shantini Ramakrishnan
2’39 responding to the 2022 wildfires
5’31 running community workshops
7’41 seed harvesting
9’05 effect of fire on ranchers
11’55 how the various groups coordinated with each other
14’09 the challenges of getting aid to people on the ground
17’36 efforts to prevent people from leaving and not coming back
20’15 developing a workforce with local skills
22’52 working with young people and taking them into the burn scar and learning about the land
26’22 resilience of young people
27’44 cultivating future leaders and scientists
30’12 what is resilience?
33’12 community action days
33’53 green “waste”
35’35 introducing biochar
37’19 mental health issues from wildife, covid, and other losses
38’24 New Mexico Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute website nmfwri.org
Jonas Moya
40’31 what the NM Farm Service Agency does
41’42 challenges to farms and ranches based on their size
42’32 changing consumer preferences and how they affect farmers
44’27 making changes after generation is difficult but younger farmers are starting to do it
45’27 possible effects of things like meat alternatives
46’23 New Mexico farmers’ unique challenges
47’12 not much food processing in New Mexico
48’08 labor shortages and immigrant labor
48’48 weather and climate changes
50’24 FSA disaster programs
52’36 balancing risk and trying new things
53’49 various agencies in contact with each other — FSA, NRCS, Rural Development, etc
55’58 how to support local farmers and ranchers–buy local
57’34 advice to farmers and ranchers
58’39 urban agriculture is a new push