It's been a banner week in agriculture, with food and food production making the news all over the country. From Cliven Bundy in Nevada, to Chicago moms on hog farms, to GM food labels in Vermont, production agriculture has been on people's minds and in their papers this week. Here's a look at five links that are worth the read.
Vermont Governor Says He'll Sign GM Food Label Bill: Vermont's state house has passed a bill that will require labeling of GM food by July 2016. This will make Vermont the first state in the US to require GM food labels; proponents say Vermont has always led the nation, citing the state's ban on slavery, passage of civil unions and same-sex marriages as other firsts.
The Cruelest Thing I Saw on a Hog Farm: 2014 Field Mom Cortney Fries, Chicago, blogged about her trip to (Master Farmer) Eldon Gould's hog farm. A snippet: "For as much as a non-animal-expert can tell you, the environment seemed to be low stress. Perhaps larger stalls that allow room to at least turn could improve the pigs’ lives, but currently they seemed to be clean, calm and healthy-looking…The cruelest thing I saw on that hog farm was at the hands of Mother Nature, not a farmer, as some alarmist propaganda may have you believe."
Illinois Farmers Host Inquisitive Consumers: The Chicago Tribune reports on the Illinois Farm Families program, and the very trip Cortney Fries blogged about! Read the comments for a taste of what IFF is up against.
Nevada Standoff Grows from Grazing Fees to Much More: If you've wondered what in the world is going on in Nevada with Cliven Bundy, here's a great piece from Joe Roybal at our sister publication, Beef Magazine. Amanda Radke shares her thoughts here, with Four Lessons We Can Learn from Bundy. Both are worth a read.
The Tyranny of the Organic Mommy Mafia: Well. This has been all over my Facebook feed this week, including rebuttals from organic farmers that the New York Post is not known as a bastion of good journalism. Which may well be true. However, I think the sentiment in this op-ed piece rings true: organic has been held up as a class aspiration, and this isn't the first piece to speak of "mommy guilt" over failure to buy organic. This entire idea says much about our ability as a society to obsess over our food affluence. And hold it over someone else's head. And then there are the celebrities. Bless their hearts.