This fall while flying home from a week of working on policy with farmers and legislators in Washington, DC, I briefly glimpsed this sacred place where city gives way to garden in the landscape. Rural places hold open space for all people everywhere. Rural places and rural residents steward land and water, provide food and fiber, harvest minerals and materials. We must be mindful of this intersection and we must intentionally maintain a dynamic balance of using, protecting and restoring our shared natural resources. But it is equally vital that we prioritize the support of rural economies and communities in their guardianship of these assets. The election showed us that rural populations feel increasingly resentful and unconsidered by the government, the parties, the pundits and the people who live elsewhere. It is time for rural people to lead the conversation around resource allocation and agricultural consolidation - for the health of our communities, but also of the earth. To do that we'll need to work hard to ponder a future that works for us and for all people, and attempt to communicate in aspirational language a way forward. We need to be educated and empowered to do better at conservation for sake of the planet. The best hope lies in lifting up rural stewardship of land, water, carbon and air. We must waste no time in stepping up.