The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed deep craters in the U.S. food supply chain. Dairies that supply milk and food products to restaurants have had the heartbreaking task of dumping millions of gallons of milk. Many giant meat processing plants had to close down because their workers were getting infected by the virus. The shutting down of these plants resulted in millions of farm animals being “culled” by drowning, shooting and suffocating. The meat processing plants were ordered to reopen when the administration declared that it is essential to maintain the meat supply in late April...
At Norwich Meadows Farm in upstate New York, Zaid Kurdieh and his wife Haifa grow varieties of vegetables coveted by New York City chefs. If this were a normal week, diners would be enjoying their produce at restaurants like Blue Hill, ABC Kitchen, and Gramercy Tavern. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, however those restaurants are closed indefinitely—creating a dire situation for them and others like them.
For decades, the biotech industry has spun a narrative around genetically engineered crops that could be summed up very simply as “jam tomorrow, instead of bread and butter today.” Sustained—and financed—largely on the promise of spectacular success at some unidentified point in the future, the research and development of new types of GMO foods, made with a whole host of new genetic engineering technologies, has gathered pace in recent years.
The officers and soldiers stepped from their cars. They were armed, masked and wearing brown camouflage uniforms. There were no words. They began to fire. Rubber bullets. Tear gas. The residents screamed, forced from their homes, running through the red dirt streets of their communities. Just before dawn on November 25, federal police and military vehicles arrived to three occupations of landless workers in the north of the state of Bahia: Abril Vermelho, Dorothy, and Irany.
WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) - Farm loan delinquencies rose to a record high in June at Wisconsin’s community banks, data showed on Thursday, a sign President Donald Trump’s trade conflicts with China and other countries are hitting farmers hard in a state that could be crucial for his chances of re-election in 2020. The share of farm loans that are long past-due rose to 2.9% at community banks in Wisconsin as of June 30, the highest rate in comparable records that go back to 2001, according to a Reuters analysis of loan delinquency data published by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
In the four years since finding stakes mysteriously implanted in the ground of their newly acquired farm, Neal LaFerriere and his family have worked as best they could with Mountain Valley Pipeline representatives to preserve the integrity of their organic farm. Having no choice but to sign an easement to allow the gas pipeline to go through his land, he and his wife Beth have tried to hold MVP to the management plan it filed with a federal agency. “We have always been willing to sit down at the table and meet with them to try to work out the issues,” LaFerriere said.
Agriculture’s not an easy industry to break into. Start-up costs can be insurmountable; the cost of land alone puts farming out of reach for those who aren’t already in the sector. Most people who farm can do so because they inherited land or had the support of family to purchase it. The co-op model, though, has been providing ways to make farming accessible for generations. Chris Bodnar is a farmer and the owner, with his wife Paige, of Close to Home Organics in southern British Columbia.
Across the U.S.—from New England to California—a small but growing movement of farmers is foregoing traditional farm ownership in favor of a cooperative model. In Maine, four Somali Bantu refugees raise crops on shared land at New Roots Cooperative Farm, growing both regional and Somali produce. To the south in Vermont, Intervale Community Farm shares farm ownership with its community supported agriculture (CSA) members. Next door is Digger’s Mirth, a worker-owned farm. And across the country in Southern California’s Pauma Valley, Solidarity Farmshares work and resources with other stewards of the land.
Six Animal Rights Activists Charged With Felonies For Investigation And Rescue That Led To Punishment Of A Utah Turkey Farm
SIX ANIMAL RIGHTS activists are facing felony charges, filed on Wednesday by a Utah prosecutor, stemming from an undercover investigation into abusive conditions on a large turkey farm. The criminal complaint includes two felony theft charges that carry possible prison terms of five years each. The six defendants include Diane Gandee Sorbi, 62, a retiree who spends most of her time volunteering at animal shelters; Andrew Sharo, 24, a Ph.D. student in the biophysics program at Berkeley; and Wayne Hsiung, a lawyer and lead investigator. In January 2017, the six activists entered a farm in Moroni, Utah, that supplies turkeys to Norbest, a large company that aggressively markets itself to the public as selling “mountain-grown” turkeys who are treated with particularly humane care.
On May 8-9th, 2018, Food Policy Action (FPA) is mobilizing stakeholders from across the United States to voice their united opposition to the draft 2018 Farm Bill released by the House Agriculture Committee. Advocates have a narrow window in which to convince House members that supporting a Farm Bill that cuts support for SNAP, small farmers, and the working class is not only irresponsible but will lose them support at the ballot box, says FPA executive director Monica Mills. “We are already doing a dismal job providing support for new, young, and small farmers, and this bill is going to be incredibly harmful to rural economies if it eliminates what programs we do have. And the changes to SNAP feel like we’re waging war on the poor,” she told Food Tank.
Molina Dawson and Karissa Glendale are vowing to continue their fight against the fish farm industry despite a British Columbia Supreme Court ruling that granted injunctions to two companies against them. The province’s highest court has granted Marine Harvest Canada and Cermaq Canada injunctions at four different salmon farms north of Vancouver Island. This means Dawson, Glendale and a number of other First Nation protestors must stay away or face being arrested. But they say the injunctions won’t stop them. “We are going to continue being out in the water in our territory so we can see what the fish farms are doing and keep an eye on them regardless of the injunctions,” said Dawson.
By Brandon Jordan for Waging Nonviolence - The sign outside the protest encampment on Midsummer Island in British Columbia, Canada, is a blunt summation of what its inhabitants — indigenous people from various First Nations tribes — have been trying to accomplish for the past two months: “Get Fish Farms Out.” Yet, due to a Supreme Court ruling issued last week, it is not the fish farms that must leave the island, but rather the demonstrators and their camp, which consists of two small houses with beds, solar panels and a replenishing supply of food. The court made its decision after receiving an injunction, or demand for removal request, by Marine Harvest, the Norwegian seafood company that operates the facility. Demonstrators were given three days to dismantle the camp and 30 days to leave the island — or risk arrest. As the decision was being handed down, more demonstrators gathered outside the court in Vancouver to tell reporters and supporters that they are still committed to their demand of removing fish farms on indigenous territory. “That doesn’t mean the occupation is over,” said Ernest Alfred, hereditary chief of a few First Nations tribes in British Columbia. “We just have to strategize and come up with a plan of relocation.” The plan that unfolded saw a handful of First Nations people remove and transport all their Midsummer Island supplies, including the homes, to another encampment at nearby Swanson Island, which is also the site of another Marine Harvest facility.
By Anne Meador of DC Media Group. What could be better for breakfast than sweet potato pie? Employees of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission got a free piece of sweet potato pie on their way to work this morning when a group of activists tried to make a point about a pipeline’s potential impact on the North Carolina sweet potato crop. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a project of Dominion Transmission and Duke Energy, is currently under review by FERC. The activists say the ACP, which would traverse 550 miles from West Virginia through Virginia to North Carolina, would, among other things, harm agricultural producers, such as sweet potato farmers in eastern North Carolina.
By Staff for Inside Climate News - Over the past decade, farmers in the Great Southern Plains have suffered the worst drought conditions since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. They've battled heat, dust storms and in recent weeks, fires that devoured more than 900,000 acres and killed thousands of cattle. These extreme conditions are being fueled by climate change. But a new report from an environmental advocacy group says they're also being driven by federal crop insurance policy that encourages farmers to continue planting crops on compromised land, year after year. "Dust bowl conditions are coming back. Drought is back. Dust storms are back. All the climate models show the weather getting worse," said Craig Cox of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which released the report Wednesday.
By Eva Hamer for Common Dreams - This past summer, I entered a place most Americans - especially those in urban areas - can barely even fathom: a place that sounds innocent, but when you step foot in it, you realize it’s one of the darkest places on the planet. I entered a modern farm. This farm was different from most other farms. Though farms across America are shifting away from holding hens in what are known as “battery cages,” this was the rare farm that had both caged and cage-free barns. With a small team of other activists, we carried out two birds—Mia from a cage-free barn and Ava from a cage. Mia was a beautiful Rhode Island Red chicken, and as I carried her through dark fields and passed her over barbed wire fences to save her from hell