For many organic farmers, care for the land goes hand in hand with a commitment to social justice.
But having the blessing of UDSA, CAFO’s continue to grow to the point that “About half of the organic milk sold in the U.S. is coming from very large factory farms that have no intention of living up to organic principles.” according to Mark Kastel, co-director of the nonprofit Cornucopia Institute.
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.
The USFRA was created in 2011 as a trade association uniting Big Ag corporations (such as Monsanto, Cargill and DuPont Pioneer) and marketing groups for commodities (including corn, soybeans, beef and pork). Take note: some of these groups are farmer-funded, but in reality, farmers have no choice but to fund them, and it is often at their own expense.