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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A New York Times article Obama's 'Secretary of Food'? discusses the Washington DC's bias toward Agribusiness and the next Secretary of Agriculture:

"The Agriculture Department — and the agriculture committees in Congress — have traditionally been handed over to industrial farming interests by Democrats and Republicans alike. The farm lobby uses that perch to inflict unhealthy food on American children in school-lunch programs, exacerbating our national crisis with diabetes and obesity.

But let’s be clear. The problem isn’t farmers. It’s the farm lobby — hijacked by industrial operators — and a bipartisan tradition of kowtowing to it."


Rather than just "explaining" the situation, the article points the way for us to make our voices heard:

"An online petition that can be found at Food Democracy Now! calls for a reformist pick for agriculture secretary — and names six terrific candidates, such as Chuck Hassebrook, a reformer in Nebraska. On several occasions in the campaign, Mr. Obama made comments showing a deep understanding of food issues, but the names that people in the food industry say are under consideration for agriculture secretary represent the problem more than the solution."

You can read the petition for a reformist Secretary of Agriculture and sign it here

Signing the petition will only take a moment of your time and will send Obama the message that Americans want our next Secretary of Agriculture to focus on benefiting everyone, not just Agribusiness!


deb
in wi
 

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The Department of Ag spends 4 out of 5 dollars of it's budget on food aid - food stamps, food programs, school programs, aid to other countries, etc.

The other departments of government keep using grain & meat exports as an international weapon - embargoes, trade bait, we scratch your back you scratch ours....

EPA and tree huggers are trying to end agriculture in the USA. I guess we are supposed to get all our food imported from China or something? Hope we all like our meleme....

What kind of reform do you want? Our food supply is getting perilious as it is. I'd be very worried about the types of directions you are eading. A few 100,000 folk such as on this web site have a pretty good setup for themselves, and many millions of people want to have super cheap food on the grocery shelf and don't care much at all about it beyond that.

Upset the apple cart, and you will find yourselves super-regulated as in the NAIS, COOL, anti-dust regulations, animal rights laws, and so forth, with less oppertunity to grow your own food, right along with anyone else in this country.

Just be sure you understand what is going on in the big picture, and that you ask for what you want, and that is all you get.

I'd be real afraid of what you get from the direction you are going.....

--->Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We know what direction American Agribusiness wants to lead us. They want to control and profit from everything used in American agriculture even if it means squeezing the family farmer and the small holder out of business.

Now is the time to do what we can to take control of agriculture away from Agribusiness. Asking Obama to appoint a U.S Secretary of Agriculture who believes in Sustainable Agriculture is an easy thing you can do and it only takes a minute.

If we don't do anything now, then how can we expect anything to change for the better?

Here's a link to the petition for a Sustainable Choice for the Next U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. and some details from the petition being sent to Obama.

"We believe that our nation is at a critical juncture in regard to agriculture and its impact on the environment and that our next Secretary of Agriculture must have a broad vision for our collective future that is greater than what past appointments have called for.

Presently, farmers face serious challenges in terms of the high costs of energy, inputs and land, as well as continually having to fight an economic system and legislative policies that undermine their ability to compete in the open market. The current system unnaturally favors economies of scale, consolidation and market concentration and the allocation of massive subsidies for commodities, all of which benefit the interests of corporate agribusiness over the livelihoods of farm families."


<snip>

"With this in mind, we are offering a list of leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to the goals that you articulated during your campaign and we encourage you to consider them for the role of Secretary of Agriculture."


Gus Schumacher, Former Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Former Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture. Info on August Schumacher

Chuck Hassebrook, Executive Director, Center for Rural Affairs, Lyons, NE. Info on Chuck Hassebrook

Sarah Vogel, former two-term Commissioner of Agriculture for the State of North Dakota, attorney, Bismarck, ND. Info on Sarah Vogel

Fred Kirschenmann, organic farmer, Distinguished Fellow, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Ames, IA and President, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Pocantico Hills, NY. Info on Fred Kirshenmann

Mark Ritchie, current Minnesota Secretary of State, former policy analyst in Minnesota’s Department of Agriculture under Governor Rudy Perpich, co-founder of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Info on Mark Ritchie

Neil Hamilton, attorney, Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law and Professor of Law and Director, Agricultural Law Center, Drake University, Des Moines, IA. Info on Neil Hamilton

Deb
in wi
 

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We live in a wonderful country where we all can voice our opinion.

Some parts of agriculture could use a new direction. We can agree that what we have is not perfect for sure.

If you wish to take control of agriculture away from business people and put it in the control of government, as the people you have listed would like to do....

I am very afraid for the future of this country.

It is a direction the Soviet Union tried. It did not work well. You remember the bread lines in the Soviet Union?????

I'm sure you see some good in what these folks say, but along with it comes some baggage, and I personally believe the baggage would be far worse than our current position of plentiful food at good prices and safer than from most any other country.

Remember, every little bitty 5 acre farmer is a business person too, and if those sorts of things are to be ended.......

I don't wish to turn this into a typical internet rock throwing contset. :) I appreciate we have different views, and that is way cool.

--->Paul
 
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