the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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monsanto sues arkansas over dicamba ban


credit: flickr/Alternative Heat

In the most recent development in the dicamba scandal Monsanto have filed a lawsuit in Arkansas’ Pulaski County Circuit Court, suing state regulators for blocking dicamba for the 2018 growing season. The herbicide is controversial to say the least, increasing yields in resistant crops but simultaneously killing all other life in the region through drift which subsequently caused serious conflict between neighbours. Monsanto’s argument basically claims that the states ban is depriving Arkansas’ farmers. However many farmers are compelled to use the weedkiller only in a bid to keep up with their neighbours. It’s a race to the toxic bottom.

“The weeds have become so difficult to manage that some farmers don’t see any way that they control them without this,” says Bob Hartzler, a weed specialist at Iowa State University. “If you feel that way then you’re probably willing to take on some higher-level risk.”

Dicamba was introduced to the market because Monsanto’s previous money maker RoundUp has become ineffective against many weeds as they have adapted over decades of exposure. This line of argumentation in favour of adoption of the even more toxic dicamba isn’t particularly convincing as far as I am concerned irrespective of Monsanto’s safety claims.

Unlike glyphosate… dicamba comes with a major liability: it tends to combust in conditions of high heat. That’s why no one has really used it, even though the chemical has been around for years—until Monsanto’s low-volatility version promised to change that. But some evidence suggests that XtendiMax may be more unstable than Monsanto acknowledges. There have been widespread reports of crop damage—as many as 1,000 in Arkansas this year so far, according to the Associated Press. Conventional (non-modified) soybeans are extremely sensitive to dicamba, and farmers are alleging that their fields are being damaged by their neighbors’ applications.

To read the full article click HERE.

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arkansas farmers say syngenta tainted grain supply to promote gmo

(Original photo by Bob Coleman)

At least a dozen Arkansas farmers have joined hundreds of farmers in 19 other states in almost 800 lawsuits against Swiss seed maker Syngenta over genetically modified corn seed, a case that has been widely reported in the media.

But one of the lawsuits, filed on behalf of two Newport farms, contains a previously unreported twist: an allegation that Syngenta, a global agribusiness, has engaged in a criminal conspiracy to contaminate the U.S. corn crop to force China, other nations that buy U.S. corn and U.S. farmers to accept genetically modified corn.

The suit, field by the Emerson Poynter law firm, which has offices in Little Rock and Houston, alleges that Syngenta violated the Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, which is usually used to fight organized crime.

Emerson Poynter filed the class-action suit in January on behalf of Kenny Falwell and Eagle Lake Farms, farming operations in Newport. It, like at least eight other lawsuits against Syngenta over its genetically modified corn seed, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

These lawsuits joined hundreds of other lawsuits filed by U.S. farmers since the fall against Syngenta, the Swiss developer and marketer of seeds and agricultural chemicals. To read more, CLICK HERE!

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summer leadership summit: native youth in agriculture

Fayetteville, Arkansas

July 21 – July 25Zea_mays

Join us for the Native Youth in Agriculture Summit and become a part of the next generation of food and agriculture leaders throughout Indian Country. Fifty selected students will travel to Fayetteville to participate in a week long education and leadership summit designed to provide comprehensive training in the legal and business complexities unique to Indian Country land and agriculture.

Students will engage in classroom and leadership learning, participate in cultural activities, and receive specialized legal and land use education appropriate only to Native farmers and ranchers. All food, lodging, and instructional materials will be provided. Competitive travel scholarships to the University are available.

Deadline for application materials: May 15, 2014 (begin submitting your application now so that your space can be held).  For more information, click HERE


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spring conference: central arkansas new agrarian society

April 26th, 2014, Little Rock, AR



The Central Arkansas New Agrarian Society (CANAS) is hosting a day-long series of workshops devoted to backyard gardening, food security, skill sharing, and community food culture.  Participants in this first conference will learn to plan, grow, source, and use the freshest food and products in Central Arkansas. Join us and become a part of Little Rock’s growing DIY food community.

Advanced registration is strongly encouraged to guarantee space.

Conference opens at 8:30 AM. Closing at 4:15 PM.

Scholarships are available! Please send inquires to

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farmers mix well

More mixers at this year’s SSAWG Conference!  Co-hosted by Greenhorns and coming right up. SSAWGflyer_Jan2013Final

From the Southeastern Young & Beginning Farmer Alliance:
We’re at it again: throwing parties. Join us for two hoe-downs at this year’s SSAWG Conference Jan 23-26 in Little Rock, Arkansas. We’ve teamed up with a whole slew of friends to host evening affairs and we hope you can join. We’ll also be selling t-shirts to benefit SSAWG financial need scholarships. Check out full details for the Alliance mixer on Saturday night at our facebook event page…invite your crew! And Friday night’s event details will eventually be available on the Central Arkansas New Agrarian Society page here

Co-hosted by Arkansas Local Food Network, Central Arkansas New Agrarian Society, Dunbar Garden, and Certified Naturally Grown, as well as our old standby sponsors Farm 255, Georgia Organics, The National Young Farmers Coalition, The Greenhorns, Slow Food. Phew, we have a lot of friends! 

Look out for our next transmission announcing our mixer, working group, video project and workshops, all to be found at the upcoming Georgia Organics conference in February in Atlanta.  And as always, we want to hear from you. Email Olivia if you want to be more involved with our brand new shiny Alliance.

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apprenticeship at farm girl natural foods


We’re a grass-fed livestock farm in Central Arkansas run by our young family of four. We use humane, sustainable farming practices to produce artisan animal products for a niche market of quality-conscious customers. We are deep in the process of developing and expanding from a moderately profitable side-business to a full time enterprise. Continue reading

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foundation farm is still for sale!

and the price has been lowered to $89,000.

Amazingly enough we are selling Foundation Farm.

We are “rebooting” our farming dream-machine yet another time with a new farm projected out for 2010/2011 not very far from here.  Our plan is to attract an organic farmer to our community by offering Foundation Farm, a reputed  farm with a proven track record of sales and fertility, waiting to be further developed.

Here follows some essential information about the farm.  For those interested, the documents listed below in “Appendix” can be mailed to you. Continue reading

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could it be spray? could it be flu?

Dead Birds Fall From Sky AGAIN In Louisiana, 300 Miles From Arkansas Incident Days Earlier

Travis Walter Donovan for the Huffington Post

Around 500 dead birds have fallen from the sky in Louisiana, found scattered along a quarter-mile portion of highway in Point Coupee Parish, the AP reports. The discovery is approximately 300 miles south of Beebe, Arkansas, where just days earlier thousands of the same species of birds also fell from the sky. Continue reading