Call it free (thinking) enterprise or health-based capitalism or
the rise of a sustainable consciousness, but some good things are
happening to counter agri-business—and agri-education—as
Consumers who believe that really fresh,
unprocessed milk is better for them than milk
that has been pasteurized and homogenized are finding ways to
buy it. They and the farmers who work with them to provide a safe
and healthful product have to contend with increasingly hostile
(in some cases) state regulators. Their cooperation and determination
to find a way to continue farmer-direct buying relationships—whether
it’s raw milk or grass-fed beef or livestock without radio
tags—signal a rising force in the U.S. food economy.
Swelling demand for an organic
college education that will make students competitive
agriculturally as well as economically is creating more options
in land-grant schools across the U.S. Any assessment of the commercial
vitality of the organic sector shows it’s a growth area,
and faculty with organic confidence and competence are leading
Faced with increasing research that shows the long-term
impacts of agricultural chemical residues on children,
young parents are thinking more carefully about what their families
eat. Buying food produced organically and in other ways to limit
environmental impact by fertilizers and pesticides is a common-sense
choice for limiting developmental damage from environmental contamination.
Getting the global picture on ag subsidies for commodities is
another driver to “Make Trade
Fair” as world trade rules are debated.
Supporting family farmers in the U.S. and in developing nations—such
as Senegal, West Africa—means building ways for the market
to cover the costs of sustainable production.
We cover all these stories of emerging good news this month, and
want you to tell us what looks promising in food and farming where
you live. Read. Reflect. Write.
Enjoy spring, wherever you are.