Teaching Las Cruces Students to Grow Food in a Way That Can Reverse Climate Change

Sometimes the enormity of climate change can seem overwhelming.  What can one person, or even one nation, do on their own to slow and reverse climate change?

Chihuahuan Desert Charities has found a route.  We are teaching Las Cruces students sustainable food production and consumption practices that can help mitigate and even reverse impacts of climate change.


Corn grown in the U.S. requires barrels of oil for the fertilizer to grow it and the diesel fuel to harvest and transport it. Some grocery stores stock organic produce that do not require such fertilizers, but it is often shipped from halfway across the globe. And meat, whether beef, chicken or pork, requires pounds of feed to produce a pound of protein.

Choosing food items that balance nutrition, taste and ecological impact is no easy task. Foodstuffs often bear some nutritional information, but there is little to reveal how far a head of lettuce, for example, has traveled.

Improved agricultural practices could quickly eliminate this significant chunk of emissions.


A short animation on sustainable agriculture done for Greenpeace.


Some may think that soil is just “dirt,” brown stuff that holds plants in the ground. But soil is an organism in itself, and healthy soil is rich in microorganisms, which under optimal circumstances live in symbiotic relationships with the plants. Healthy soils store vast quantities of atmospheric carbon. Improving soil health is, therefore, an integral part of reversing CO2 levels.

According to cutting-edge agricultural research, including that outlined in the Rodale Institute’s white paper, Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change, “recent data from farming systems and pasture trials around the globe show that we could sequester more than 100 percent of current annual CO2 emissions with a switch to widely available and inexpensive organic management practices, which we term “regenerative organic agriculture.”

As well as sequestering carbon, regenerative organic and agro-ecological systems can mitigate the chaotic effects brought about by climate change, such as flooding. Healthy soils have structure that allows them to retain large quantities of water. This structure not only holds soil in place preventing erosion, it also allows plants to be more tolerant of weather extremes. Regenerative systems increase the amount of carbon in soil while maintaining yields. In fact, research shows that yields under organic systems are more resilient to the extreme weather which accompanies climate change.

The DYGUP & SUSTAIN Program focuses on teaching regenerative agriculture and using 21st Century STEM skills. By donating you will contribute to improved education outcomes for economically disadvantaged children, providing STEM education to economically disadvantaged children, support economically disadvantaged students prepare for success in post-secondary educational institutions, and support responsible stewardship of the environment, protect clean air and water and provide an opportunity for improving physical activity and nutrition in youth.

Chihuahuan Desert Charities is proud to be the fiscal sponsor for DYGUP & SUSTAIN and support their important work in the Las Cruces community. The DYGUP & SUSTAIN Program has many partnerships in the community including Taylor Hood Farms, Backyard Farms LC, First Christian Church, and Las Cruces High-School. Support the DYGUP & SUSTAIN Program at Legacy Farm in Las Cruces by visiting ChihuahuanDesertCharities.org

Will you join us?  Come back each day to learn more about this important mission and how YOU can make a difference.  You can help immediately by giving to our “Love the People, Feed the People!” campaign. Donate to Fight Hunger In Las Cruces.