Unfortunately, USDA’s National Organic Standards Board did not heed the comments and concerns offered by Jim and other organic farmers, and voted to allow hydroponically grown produce to receive organic certification.
No organic farmer will deny there are times when animals get sick, it is too wet to cultivate or it gets so dry you have to buy feed and you remember your past life as a conventional farmer, when there was a synthetic fix for the problem or feed that was an easy phone call away. But no one ever said farming would be easy; you just figure it out, learn from the problem and plan ahead.
For a farmer, getting the news that you no longer have a market for your product is devastating, I know, I got one of those letters a few months ago. It is especially problematic if you are a dairy farmer, since cows need to be milked every day.
In a society like ours, where there is no such thing as a living wage for a good share of the population, we depend on a cheap food supply. It is unconscionable that we have such income disparity, that we have allowed this cycle of poverty to exist.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) must be replaced with a transparent trade agreement that ensures farmers in all three nations—Canada, Mexico, and the United States—receive fair prices for their production, that consumers are guaranteed the right to know the content and origin of their food, and that strong environmental protections are put in place to protect the sustainability of rural communities.
Food sovereignty is climate justice. We can cool the planet AND ensure adequate food and nutrition to the world’s human population by fighting the destructive and building the new.
The Senate is expected to approve Perdue easily, but the question of his loyalty — to family farmers or to agribusiness — is imperative given the gravity of the economic situation facing rural America.
When I learned late last week that the United State House Agriculture Committee was having a hearing on March 22, I immediately made contact with members of the committee regarding the possibility of me testifying at the hearing.
These 900 dairy farmers deserve a chance to stay in business until a real solution is developed. Contact the Market Administrator’s office by phone in Albany at 518-452-4410, or in Boston at 617-737-7199.
We are deeply saddened to report the passing of our beloved, courageous and steadfast leader and friend, Kathy Ozer. Her indefatigable optimism and resolve eventually were not enough to overcome her cancer, and she died peacefully on Sunday, January 22, 2017.
This speech by George Naylor was written as the keynote address to precede the panel, Farmers Leading the Food Movement, for the Food Tank Summit, Washington, D.C., April 21, 2016.
TPP has very little to do with free trade, we already have trade agreements with 6 of the other 11 countries that are part of the TPP. Trade barriers are already very low, so if these countries wanted to import more US dairy products or anything else, there is little to stop them.