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"The pursuit of the upliftment of humanity"
The news for today, in pictures and web. #GMO #RonPaul #C
United States Declaration of Independence:

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect … http://www.wfu.edu/~zulick/340/Declaration.html

Solution:

With all the effort the government is spending repairing roads (they don’t need it), and paying auto companies, they could easily encourage clean energy companies. And ecological agriculture people who are solving the problems of desertification, nitrogen poisoning our water, and obesity.. More small and medium-scale businesses!

My little business: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/03/garden/sheep-lawn-mowers-and-other-go-getters.html

..next one will be a coop farm processing center.

Obama will help organic farmers …

In 2008 it said:

 Encourage Organic and Local Agriculture: Obama will help organic farmers afford to certify their crops and reform crop insurance to not penalize organic farmers. He also will promote regional food systems.

We have been penalized. 

1) GMO Alfalfa unlabeled is approved for mass production. x ORganic dairy

2) GMO grass does not even go through a screening before approval.

3) Compost regulation penalizes (“protects” ech) small farms for composting.

4) None of the small organic farmers I know can afford certification. It’s just the large farmers.

5) The certification as it exists is weaker than ideal, in other words organic, Oregon Tilth. x Certified farms

Small farmers have not been helped. 

Get Monsanto out of Washington. They need to stop making policy.

Columbia FTA hurts farmers in that country to keep growing legally any more.

Latin America “Free Trade” in general hurts the farmers and helps US corporations. 

Which are subsidized. 

Only large farms that produce cash grains are subsidized.

The subsidy program is loaded with waste money, which equates to higher taxes.

More loan programs have only gotten small farmers more in debt. (what they actually need is markets).

Attra.org, the one single useful government program got cut.


However, these local and organic farmers are the hope for our future.

Given the impending dollar devaluation soon, it is best to grow your own food.

These model farms are “grow what you would like to eat,” and then sell the extra.

It works at any scale.

The best scale, is zero expenses and 99% sustainability.

Oberlin, OH is a good example. The Jones farm markets to restaurants, schools, CSA and farm market.

In the future, mid-level clearinghouses will be necessary.

The restaurant economy relates to jobs, liesure/quality of living, farming, middle-manning, truck driving, check-out boy, shepherd, awareness, community, cross-links in the economy, industry, hardware, … , …

The USA has an abundance of good land. 

If the largest farmers haven’t ruined it yet.

Farm Bill

Sustainable-food activists have been working for decades to place progressive, community-oriented programs into the ag-policy mix. These hard-fought victories, won during once-every-five-years Farm Bill wars, are vastly outweighed by things like the government’s corn-ethanol festish, or its hyper-aggressive trade policies. 
But the food movement’s polictal gains are real, they’re fragile, and they need defending.  

http://motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2011/06/gop-house-aims-its-pitchfork-food-system-reform
Update: what is happening with the farm bill?
So far, the House has passed the 2012 agriculture funding bill, with lots of cuts. http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/house-passes-fy12-funding-bill/

1)       an indigenous farmers coop in Oaxaca, Mexico (CEDICAM) that won last year’s Goldman environmental prize will be inaugurating a museum on indigenous agricultural practices. The museum is being funded by National Geographic. We thought there may be a distant possibility of getting Michelle Obama to, ideally, participate in the inauguration, though more likely, to endorse it, write a letter of support, or send a video message of support. I wondered if any of you had any connections with her office. Perhaps the folks that pressured for the organic garden?

2)       In India, many corporations have a tradition of sending high up executives to live in a poor community for 2-3 weeks. They need to walk the last 20 miles to where they will be staying so that they don’t carry too much and they are not to talk or teach while in the community, but to listen and learn. It is a life changing event for many. The tradition has now been picked up in the UK where a growing number of corporations are doing similar things – executives stay in homeless shelters, poor rural communities, etc.

We thought it would be interesting to look into the possibility of getting a Monsanto exec to stay a couple weeks with CEDICAM in Oaxaca. We have a Maryknoll lay missioner whose mother is a big VP in Monsanto as a possible “in.” I was wondering if any of you had any other sorts of connections with Monsanto, ADM, Cargill, etc. that we could contact to begin a conversation.

 

Suggestions are welcome…

Dave

"relatively low dollar means that U.S. exports are less expensive in foreign currency terms and helps make U.S. agricultural exports competitive in foreign markets. " daniel@thewhofarm.org, Economic Research Service
Government bureaucrat