Currently Browsing: Farm Bill

No comment, no say: lend your voice to shaping four big food & ag policies

Photo from Iowa, courtesy of factoryfarm.org. It's easy to get cynical about our ability to influence policy or policymakers - especially when we don't have lots of money or a well-dressed K St. lobby firm to throw around. But I'd venture to say that with all the change-making, democracy-taking action...

Ready, set, go change the food system, part 2: More USDA action items

On Friday we published the first half of a list of specific actions the new USDA could undertake in its first six months that could significantly change the food system. After polling a cross-section of groups and individuals, we cherry-picked from their answers to come up with 10 big-picture directives...

Playing ketchup: Tomato industry concentration

Tomato season is over for most of the United States, so it's time to start shifting our tomato thoughts to canned, dried, and jarred tomatoes. Although tomatoes can be grown in all 50 states of the union, odds are 10-to-1 that a tomato found in a can, jar, or processed product was grown in California. An...

Carrots, sticks, and crumbs: Making the most of the new Farm Bill, and gearing up for 2012

By Aimee Witteman (cross-posted on Gristmill) Last week, in a stuffy room on Capitol Hill, I joined a couple dozen activists and farmers to discuss the Farm Bill. Why? you ask. Why bother to meet in hot-as-an-oven Washington D.C. to discuss the legislative mess that recently sputtered to an all too...

Mini-Digest: Monsanto wants to “save” the world, Kill Bill Vol. 247, SOLE research in the pipeline

You say crisis, we say …Croesus: Monsanto has launched a massive PR campaign (New York Times) promising to double the yields of corn, soy, and cotton using genetically modified seeds. Never mind that its most successful GM seed to date has produced lower yields while requiring higher inputs and actually...

The 2008 Farm Bill: Pollan, Eschmeyer on a bittersweet victory

Yesterday Michael Pollan — who, whether he likes it or not is the most widely read spokesperson for the sustainable food movement — sent an email to his list-serv (subscribe here) with his thoughts on the 2008 Farm Bill that finally passed. In short, he thinks that despite the highest levels of activism in...

Barack Obama on U.S. food & ag policy

Ari LeVaux sent us a link to his May 29 column for the Missoula Independent, Flash in the Pan, in which he interviewed Barack Obama over email about food and agriculture policy. Encouraging stuff, despite the off-putting (to me anyway) de-rigeur touting of the "renewable fuels" funding in the Farm Bill as a...

Local meat gets star treatment at Kansas farmers market

Kansas may be the beef capital (PDF) of the United States, but people here aren't necessarily eating beef from the neighborhood. To introduce people in the Lawrence area to local meats — including many that are not from cattle — the Downtown Lawrence Farmers Market had its third annual "Local Meat: It's...

The enemy of my enemy: Why a Bush veto of the Farm Bill is bad for the food movement (and the world)

My former boss in DC once said that if she ever found herself on the same side of an issue as the Bush Administration, it was time to go back and look more closely: there must be a hidden agenda. That was the thought that struck me as I contemplated the administration's Farm Bill veto threat on Friday. I...

Farm Bill end game

Apologies to all who have sent Digest items — I am camped out here at Ethicurean headquarters in a bit of a mental bunker, completely out of bandwidth given multiple projects with looming deadlines and furiously squeaking clients. I'm sorry that we're so behind on the news. However I just have to take 5...

Farm Bill organizers regroup in Phoenix

Greetings from smoldering-hot Phoenix. (But it's a dry heat! Right... somehow when it's a million degrees, that caveat becomes less convincing.) It's been a full, exhausting day. One highlight for me was playing fly on the wall during a coming-together of folks who participated in the Farm and Food Policy...

Bucking the CAFO tax: A plea for conscientious objection

Here's a number to knock you out of that mid-day stupor: every year, taxpayers shell out between $7.1 billion and $8.2 billion to subsidize or clean up after our nation's 9,900 confined animal feeding operations. That's the finding of "CAFOs Uncovered," a new report released earlier today by the Union of...

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