Everything is changing down on the farm, except for the laws. How do farmers and ranchers keep up while they diversify in to direct to consumer sales, wedding sites, field dinners, local meat processing, pesticide drift, agri-tourism, cottage food, food safety liability, NIMBY neighbors, run off, carbon credits, etc? The trusty local lawyer may not have all the answers. That’s why Rachel Armstrong created Farm Commons.
Call it what you will, the climate is weird and getting more dangerous. Still reactive blanket prescriptions for changing the world’s diets must take in to account that over 800,000 people are subsisting on incomes of $2 per day. In these areas the most serious threat is physical and cognitive stunting of up to 30% of the children due to poor diets; however, global regenerative agriculture can reduce Green House Gases and still improve diets with better utilization of nutrient dense animal sourced foods. Dr. Adegbola Adesogan is the Director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems and the Professor of Ruminant Nutrition at the University of Florida.
The world can draw down all of our Carbon emissions if agriculture fully embraced regenerative agriculture. Soils must be regularly monitored by probing carbon levels because the more that is in the soil the less is in the atmosphere. These themes are promoted by the Chico Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems to reduce greenhouse gasses, restore soil resiliency, increase the sustainability of farms and ranches, and address food and water insecurity. The co founder of the Center, Dr. Tim Tim LaSalle was the first CEO of Rodale Institute, Executive Director of the Allan Savory Center for Holistic Management and researcher/adviser with the Howard Buffett Foundation in Africa on soils and food security for smallholder farmers. Tim is Professor Emeritus of Cal Poly and former President/CEO of the California Ag Leadership Program. https://www.csuchico.edu/regenerativeagriculture/index.shtml
Global regenerative abundance is the goal and holistic management is the way to get there. It’s an abstract perspective at first, but when coached to this vision by the Savory Institute’s Global Network Coordinator, Abbey Smith we get the picture. The Savory Institute sets out to regenerate the world’s grasslands and in that journey regenerates farms, ranches, regions, communities and individuals who are committed to protecting the Earth and its population from predicted climate and food disasters. Abbey Smith explains how Savory Institute’s work is global in scope, grassroots in execution and holistic. Savory.goba
To cook, farm or eat in a different way requires taking that first step. On Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Ben Glassen has taken first steps in regeneratively raising animals and providing them to consumers who are taking their own first steps, reaping the benefits of regenerative livestock production. Ben’s approach includes leasing (or borrowing) land, mobile infrastructure and direct marketing. Customers choose to purchase meat raised regeneratively for the health value, ethics of the way the animals are raised, support of local production and the environmental impact. The next first step for Ben will be establishing an abattoir to process locally raised livestock. In addition to listening to Ben Glassen on the Farm To Table Talk podcast, he can be visited with directly on Clubhouse in the Farm To Talk Club. www.glassenfarms.com
COVID-19 forced thousands of farmers, fishermen, butchers, and food suppliers to make incredible changes that they had never imagined. Fortunately, in the emerging food chain, suppliers of all sizes can compete in the digital world at the intersection of technology and food. Joseph Lee, Co-Founder and CPO of Freshline shares the story of how new ventures like theirs have stepped up to create these links that are revolutionizing the way food efficiently gets from boats and farms to tables all over North America.
What does Social Science have to do with our food system? Professor Silvia Secchi a Social Scientist at the Public Policy Center at the University of Iowa believes it has a key role to play as is clear by her favorite quote from T. W Shultz, “It is especially the social sciences -economics, sociology and political science -which, if prosecuted with vigor reveal answers which are unpalatable to special interests.” Today that vigorous prosecution can address issues facing women farmers, polluted waters, barriers to entry and misdirected carbon credits strategies. Professor Secchi highlights the issues and ways to constructively engage in the dialogues that can lead to positive change. email@example.com
If food insecure populations can’t make it to food markets, bring it to them. With this idea and a grant from the California Department of Agriculture for a Farmers Market Food Truck, this is a dream come true in West Sacramento. Sara Bernal is the program manager for the West Sacramento Urban Farm Program and now with a vehicle the size of a traditional U Haul moving truck low income communities are able to shop for farm fresh foods in their own neighborhoods. “With the seniors particularly but also these affordable housing complexes with families, it can be exceedingly hard if you don’t have a car to get groceries,” Bernal said. “So the whole purpose of the truck is to get produce to people where they live in the easiest way possible and then to make it affordable.” Sarah Bernal and Rodger Wasson visit in the parking lot of a low income housing community while customers bring their Cal Fresh/SNAP EBT cards for discounted purchases of healthy foods. www.landbasedlearning.org
Food waste presents its own serious crisis. As awareness has risen about the impact of climate change on our environment, we are learning the significant role that food waste plays. In America, 40% of the food supply, from farm to table, is wasted. This excess food ends up in landfills where it creates methane gas, a major contributor to the warming of our planet. Vegetables, fruit, milk, and other nutritious foods fill our landfills. At a time when there is so much hunger in our country, we are throwing away the very food that could feed the food insecure and help save our planet.The bottom line is that hunger and food waste are unacceptable in America where there is a wealth of resources and enough food being produced to feed everyone. The knowledge that these crises can be solved drives the mission and work of Food Rescue USA whose CEO Carol Shatuck visited the Farm To Table Talk Clubhouse room (now open to all) and this episode of Farm To Table Talk. www.foodrescue.us
Before he became the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson envisioned a country of ‘citizen farmers’ who would be engaged in government. Jefferson would have been pleased with citizens like Iowa farmer Francis Thicke and Vermont farmer Dave Chapman who climb off their tractors to Zoom with the Secretary of Agriculture about needed policy infrastructure repairs to the USDA Organic program. A thousand farmer have already joined with them to give consumers assurance of Real Organic production practices and to rescue the reputation and trust in Certified Organic. It’s wrong when farmers are passive about what they grow and it’s wrong when consumers are passive about what they eat. Jefferson could see farmers and eaters saying “we the people are going to do it on our own.” www.realorganicproject.org