Earlier this month, I sat down with Matt Russell, Executive Director, Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, to discuss his organization’s work to change the narrative surrounding farmers and climate change. Matt’s own farm, Coyote Run Farm, has become a de facto political stop for presidential candidates in Iowa.

Matt Russell, Executive Director, Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, and his husband Patrick Standley speaking with Vice President Joseph Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. (Courtesy of Iowa Interfaith Power & Light)

Russell and IIPL see farmers as partners–not roadblocks or victims–in the movement to combat climate change and environmental degradation. IIPL encourages farmers to explore their values and faith traditions, connect with others believers, and consider how their respective religious identities call them to respond to the ongoing climate crisis. An inspiring challenge for Earth Day.

Even if you’re not a farmer, Matt’s message might move you to reflect upon your own individual actions and begin to make positive environmental choices. You can watch Matt’s and my full conversation here.

David Goodwin

David Goodwin is an urban historian, author, and Assistant Director of the Center on Religion and Culture.