On-farm agriculture operations have been excluded from federal labor law since 1935. California filled this gap by creating its own law in 1975, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act (“ALRA”) that gave union organizers the right to physically access the farm property in order to solicit support for unionization. Growers challenged this regulation as a state-sponsored “taking” of their property rights, without the just compensation guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed with the growers, holding that the ALRA’s access regulations were a per se violation because they allowed “physical invasion” of the land without compensation. Michael Droke explains the significance of the decision and implications for property rights protection for agriculture. Michael is a senior partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney in its Food and Agriculture group. www.scotus.com www.dorsey.com
Will eating less meat save the planet? Some say so but science says no. of course if you’re looking for a reason to eat less meat and tell others to do the same, climate change seems to add to your case. However, if you’re looking to make real impact on the climate, transportation and construction are still much more important than agriculture. Dr. Frank Moetloehner, Director of the Clear Center at UC Davis is the most quoted expert on these issues in the world. He shares with us the true story of the effects of livestock production, including that some countries are doing a better job than others. With the adaptation of new technologies, California dairy farmers have reduced methane emissions by 25%.. On You Tube videos and in Frank’s presentations you we see him hold up an 8.5 X 11 inch sheet of paper to represent the entire surface of the Earth; then a business card that represents the area where agriculture is possible with 2/3 of that card only fit for grazing livestock. It is an important story that Frank tells us. www.clear.ucdavis.edu
Except for the air we breathe, nothing is more important to life on earth than water. Humans can live up to 60 days without food but only a few days without water. So water is life and the worsening climate is severely impacting life as we know it. In California alone it is estimated that nearly a million acres of previously productive farmland will be fallowed in 2021. Inevitably the food supply and food costs will be impacted. Randy Record farms and invests his time in seeking water solutions. He has a vineyard and is on the Metropolitan Water District (LA) Board where he has served as Chairman. Randy has a clear eyed perspective on the water challenges we face and faith that building trusting relationships between cities, agriculture and environmental publics is a key for progress. www.farmwater.org
Not all farmers are old.. Millennials are coming back to family farms and ranches in impressive numbers. After college and trying other adventures many are deciding that their passion and what seems best for their families is to be back in rural areas where they bring enthusiasm and a renewed commitment to grow livestock and crops in a way that is good for their family, community and the climate. Brian Moes, his wife and five young boys, dry land farm and feed cattle in North East South Dakota. Paige Dulaney, her husband and two young boys, farm and ranch in North East Colorado. Bryon and Paige share a path with thousands of new generation farmers who want consumers to understand that their food is being produced by young families liker theirs who are proud of how they farm or ranch and hope to see their kids come back some day to continue the tradition.
Connecting small farmers to new markets is a universal goal. In Fiji and Australia that is being accomplished due to the efforts of twin sisters, Lisa and Zoe Paisley who have co-founded Aggie Global. They moved to Fiji to start a business and address poverty in rural communities. Farmers struggled with selling their produce while the tourism sector imported 70% of their food so Aggie Global was built to connect either end of the food supply chain in a more transparent and equitable way. Zoe and Lisa came back to Sydney when the pandemic hit and launched an Australian arm to support indigenous farmers by focusing on ‘Bushfoods’. It’s another great journey of connecting farms and consumers that can be translated to local and global regeneration.
Aggie Global’s crowdfunding and subscription program will help make positive social change every month. Their campaign helps support Fijian farmers and build healthy communities by providing boxes of locally grown, fruit and vegetables to families in need every month. Check out their campaign on Start Some Goods website today! https://startsomegood.com/support-local-to-build-healthy-communities-aggie-global/
Billions of pounds of produce are going to waste while millions of Americans are going hungry. Seeing food lines develop all over, some University students decided to do something to change that. They created the Farmlink Project to connect farmers to food banks, delivering millions of pounds of farm fresh produce that would otherwise be wasted to feed families in need. The founder and CEO of Farmlink, James Kanoff explains how this idea has led to up to a million pounds of food per week that might otherwise been wasted, make its way from farms to food banks to hungry people. www.farmlinkproject.org
Consumers have never known more about nutrition and yet, have never been more overweight. For most Americans, maintaining a balanced diet is more difficult than doing their taxes. What are we doing wrong? Jack Bobo has been engaged with the food system from farm to table and is the author of a new book “Why Smart People Make Bad Food Choices”. He is a food psychology expert with over 20 years advising four U. S. Secretaries of State on food and agriculture. In his book and here on Farm to Table Talk he guides us to smarter food choices and improving our quality of life. https://futurityfood.com/
Nutrient density, biodynamic and regenerative are terms of relevance to the health of our planet, our soil, our food and ourselves. It’s tricky learning the connections but Dr. Christopher Daugherty ties it all together. “Biodynamic is the art and aspect” of the essential principles of food. Nutrient density is the “level of nutrients per unit” of calorie.
Dr. Chris is a regenerative entrepreneur in ‘Ortho-molecular’ Nutrition & Biological Medicine. Focusing on biological nutrients, product development and farmer direct supply chains provides biodynamic insights for the future of earth to farm to table.
Now is not the new normal. Consumers were forced to change their shopping and dining food practices by the pandemic. As they return to stores and restaurants, they need to be the Hero of their lives. From farmers to restaurants and food markets, helping consumers realize their need to be the Hero from these troubled times, is job One. Suzy Badaracco is the President of Culinary Tides Inc., a Trends consultancy with a focus on what’s going to happen next. It’s not just studying the data to see trends taking shape; but rather identifying the “parents” of the trends. Food marketers from farm to table, especially need to take note and act accordingly to help their customers become HEROS. www.culinarytides.com