Jacob Lebel

Age: 20, Hometown: Roseburg, Oregon

"I am telling my government to stop aiding and turning a blind eye to the corporations who profit off destroying our resources, climate, and environment, and start acting in the interest of its people. Our lives may depend on it."

All his life, Jacob has felt a special connection to the land, in rural Quebec where he was born and in Roseburg, Oregon, where he now lives on a sustainable farm. Having grown up milking cows and gardening, at 16 he ran a small-scale Community Supported Agriculture business providing nearby customers with fresh organic produce, fruit, and meat. This intimate connection to the land reveals just how quickly climate is changing in Oregon: long, dry summers, droughts, and heat waves are increasing, and the supply of water in the irrigation ponds is decreasing. A few years ago, Jacob joined the campaign against the proposed Jordan Cove natural gas pipeline, which would run about two kilometers away from his farm. If built, the plant and pipeline would be the largest source of carbon emissions in Oregon. In 2016, Jacob also travelled to North Dakota to join the movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Jacob is an aspiring citizen journalist, and hopes to create self-sustainable living ecosystems for human communities worldwide. 

Jacob on his family farm in Roseburg, Oregon. Photo: Robin Loznak

Jacob on his family farm in Roseburg, Oregon. Photo: Robin Loznak