Farming for Love

Eric has mentioned all the Conferences we’ve been to lately.  It has been a real treat to interact with other farmers and get inspired. I wanted to write about the Farm Bill (coming soon), but looking at our last few postings, I decided to take a break from policy talk and talk about love.

Eric sowing the seeds of Love (actually lettuce)

At the Organicology conference, the keynote speaker was Andrew Kimbrell.  He is a lawyer for the Center for Food Safety, an amazing organization which has continuously and very successfully sued the USDA for deregulating various GMO crops.

His talk involved some scary talk about the insane overuse of pesticides that is occurring because of herbicide-tolerant GMOs, how companies are moving from

Round-up Ready on to 2-4-D resistant crops (AKA agent orange) and dicamba resistant crops because of the resistance that has developed due to the overuse of glyphosate (Round-up).

But his main message was not doom and gloom.  His main message was love.

Kimbrell proposed some myths perpetuated about organics that keep people in fear that if we embraced organics we would starve (i.e. organic ag can’t feed the world).   Then he refuted them:

  1. Organics is not “scientific”. Science is about observation.  Organic farmers are the best observers.  We pay attention to our soil, our plants our animals.  We adjust to their needs.  Ecology IS science.
  2. Organics is not “efficient”. Efficiency means most output with the least input of time and resources. Do we have to apply this concept to living things?! Would we give our children only the minimum amount of love and food to allow them to survive?  Yes we need to be efficient, but we are farmers that view the land, the soil, our plants and animals as our allies and partners in our goal of producing a product.  We should not be ashamed to balance “efficiency” with LOVE.
  3. Organics is not competitive. Why can’t we cooperate?  This earth is running out of resources and we waste a lot of those limited resources fighting with each other.
  4. Organics is against progress. If we had some money for research and education then we could progress a lot more!

I don’t want to be ashamed to feel love for my job, my coworkers, my crops, my soil.  The reality is that “consumers” also want us to treat our farms with love.  We just need to get the corporate interests out of our universities and halls of congress so that we can provide the products that people want.  Products produced with LOVE.

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