the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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“ditching NAFTA” may hurt american farmers, but which ones?

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/515380213/515638250

NPR’s The Salt spoke to American farmers growing products (strawberries) in and outsourcing their products (milk, powdered) to Mexico. And no doubt, these industrial farmers will either pay more to import and export their crops and could lose potential markets. Given, however, that NAFTA’s effect on small and medium farms in this country– which we rarely mentioned in the discussion– has been largely detrimental, and NAFTA’s effect on small farmers in Mexico has been unequivocally disastrous, we wonder how this conversation could be extended to address small-scale sustainable agriculture.  Greenhorns, policy buffs, what do you think? Surely, it is not always true that what is bad for industrialized ag is good for sustainable ag, but….

What do you think, Greenhorns, specifically our economics buffs out there, what will it mean for young agrarians and small farms if the US “ditches NAFTA?”


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occupied territory farmers tell their needs

Calendula seed

Calendula seed

From Via Campesina, the organization of peasants and agrarians across the world, comes a list of needs from farmers living and working in the occupied territories of Palestine. In early November a delegation of representatives from social, political, unions, and farmer organizations from Spain met with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) in Palestine to discuss needs of the rural communities.

From the statement:

[We see] the path toward Food Sovereignty as a tool for resistance, a way to feed their population and to maintain their culture and identity, to survive the violence of the occupation and to remain on their land – a path that in addition unites them in brotherhood with peasants and farmers throughout the world.

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this is what it looks like when MONSANTO rents the state house in Iowa

And this is what happens when activists like our hero Reverend Billy refuse to stand by silently. Brought to you by Occupy the World Food Prize, a response to the World Food Prize, an organization that gives millions of dollars to support agribusiness giants under the guise of trying to combat world hunger.


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new michael keaton film features the evolution of macdonalds

In the spirit of the old adage: If you can’t beat ’em… learn everything about ’em that you possibly can so that you can beat ’em later. “*

The Founder, written by Robert Siegel and starring Michael Keaton was in theaters everywhere last Friday.

*’Em, of course being the agribusiness giants that got us into this whole super-sized conglomerate of a food system to begin with.


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tomorrow on greenhorns radio! jeff conan on the devasting effects of palm oil production

oil_palm_plantation_in_cigudeg-05

Palm oil plantation in Indonesia. Photo by Archbad Robin Taim.

Tomorrow January 25th on the Heritage Radio Network, Greenhorns radio talks to Jeff Conan, Senior Forest Campains Manager at Friends of the Earth, a global activist network that campaigns for international environmental and climate justice. Much of Conan’s work focusses on the toxic legacy of palm oil production in Gautemala. Maybe you already knew that the production of this oil was rapidly spurring deforestation of some of the world’s most important rain forests, but were you also aware that the byproducts of its processing have a long legacy of polluting water sources as well?

As Conan writes in a September article on Medium.com, “One year ago, a series of spills dumped toxic palm oil effluent into the Pasión River where it runs through the municipality of Sayaxché in Guatemala’s Peten region. The spills were the latest in a long history of abuses associated with Guatemala’s palm oil industry — Continue reading


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health care and young farmers

We are so grateful to Shoshana Inwood, an assistant professor at UVM, for drawing attention to the struggles that young farmers face when it comes to procuring health care and starting a family. This won’t be news to any farmers in the audience, but it is worth sharing widely to raise more awareness– especially with Congress reeling to repeal the ACA. We stand to lose what little access to health care we already have. Motivated? Call your senator today!