in this issue...
if your email version is hard to read, please refer to the webpage version:
farm bill update -
pollan speaks at bioneers - - urges an estimated 12,000
people (conference beamed to 18 locations) to build local food
systems and to get involved in creating a new and better farm
sustainable agriculture coalition (sac) releases 2007 farm bill
platform, (endorsed by wsawg),
calling for comprehensive reform of the upcoming 2007 farm bill in
its new report, no time for delay: a sustainable agriculture
agenda for the 2007 farm bill. the report urges the federal
government to adopt a series of key policies that are urgently
needed to help new farmers enter agriculture, promote profitable
family farms, enhance the environment, and build healthy,
diversified rural community economies.
farm and food policy project�s farm bill declaration
is coming out soon for sign on. this is the work of a large network
of organizations, funded by the kellogg fndn. we will need you all
to be prepared, once it�s out, to help gather as many organizational
endorsements as possible. sign on will run through november 15 for
organizations wanting to be listed on materials supporting the
november 20 launch, and sign-ons will continue to be accepted after
the launch. stay tuned for action alerts.
eu passes gm testing
protocol for us rice: eu member states are now requiring
testing on all imports of us long-grained rice. the vote came after
the failure of negotiations with the us about a proposed protocol.
the new rules require testing at the point of entry into the eu in
addition to any testing done in the us. this comes about because
the genetically engineered variety ll601 has turned up in 9
countries, even after all shipments from the us were tested and
certified gm-free before leaving for the european union. http://www.food.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/2006/oct/illeggmrice
another strain of experimental ge rice has been detected in
u.s. food shipments to europe. the rice (ll62) was designed by bayer
but is not approved for human consumption in the eu. us rice farmers
have suffered millions of dollars of losses from ge contamination
just in the last few months.
california enacts first state biomonitoring law: led by the
breast cancer fund and
commonweal, environmental health advocates celebrated the
passage of historic legislation to track toxic chemicals in our
bodies. california will have the first state-supported
biomonitoring program in the u.s. it may be implemented as early as
2007, and includes funding for community based monitoring of
specific chemicals, assessed and reviewed by a scientific panel.
food from cloned animals - petition filed the center for
food safety, along with reproductive rights, animal welfare, and
consumer protection organizations, on oct. 12, filed a legal
petition with the food and drug administration (fda) calling for a
moratorium on the introduction of food products from cloned
animals. the petition, along with an executive summary and other
background information on the risks of animal cloning are online at
ecoli in spinach despite a number of inaccurate media
reports, the recent spinach e.coli outbreak has not been linked to
any organic products. as expected, the outbreak has now been
directly linked to a factory farm feedlot located adjacent to
conventional spinach fields in california.
rbgh on the run
vermont agriculture secretary
steve kerr added his voice this month to the growing chorus urging
farmers to stop giving their dairy cows the synthetic hormone rbst.
bills update - go to this
website for most recent info: http://www.environmentalcommons.org/gmo-tracker.html
cattle protozoa help transfer antibiotic resistance
agricultural research service (ars) scientists in ames, iowa, have
made another big finding about protozoa, single-celled predatory
organisms, found in the gastrointestinal tract of cattle. they've
discovered that the protozoa can facilitate the transfer of
antibiotic resistance from resistant bacteria to susceptible types.
rumen protozoa live in the first stomach (rumen) of cattle.
bridging borders: toward food security was a joint
conference of the community food security coalition and the assembly
of food secure canada. people representing green businesses,
indigenous issues, healthcare, urban agriculture, small-farmers, and
social justice testified to the importance of tying community-based
advocacy and development with the lessons of international
activism. read a report of the conference:
researchers explore turning farm waste to fabric
researchers from the university of nebraska lincoln presented two
studies at the american chemical society national meeting reporting
on their exploration of a chicken-feather-based fabric with
qualities similar to wool, and a riceaw fabric somewhat like
cotton or linen. the biodegradable fabrics would be made from
inexpensive waste materials.
researchers studying straw conversion to liquid fuels researchers
from the western research institute in laramie, wy., in
collaboration with two ars labs, are working to develop a
small-scale gasification reactor that can use straw as a feedstock.
researchers estimate that up to 60 gallons of liquid fuel can be
derived from a ton of straw. the grass seed region of the pacific
northwest produces about 7 million tons of excess straw per year,
which has the potential for 420 million gallons of liquid fuel.
local and sustainable foods change college dining food
service at colleges and universities across the country is changing
as cafeterias serve up more local, organic and sustainable foods.
the change is driven in part by student requests. this story
relates how yale handles and identifies locally grown food, and how
popular it is with students.
national research initiative competitive grants program
the cooperative state research, education, and
extension service (csrees) requests applications for the national
research initiative (nri) competitive grants program. in fy 2007,
csrees anticipates that approximately $181 million will be available
for support of this program. application deadlines vary by program;
they range from november 19, 2006 to august 14, 2007.
nanotech etc group has launched a competition for
the design of a nano-hazard symbol. following initial vetting by a
panel of eminent judges, the top 10 designs will be taken to the
world social forum in nairobi, kenya in january 2007 where forum
participants will be invited to vote on their favorite. the winning
design will be submitted to national and international regulatory
http://www.etcgroup.org/nanohazard, for articles on nanotech:
seeds - indonesian farmers prosecuted for breeding
their own seeds!
carbon credit program launched
that will provide financial incentives for farmers who adopt farming
practices that promote environmental stewardship. farmers union has
been approved by the chicago climate exchange (ccx) to enroll
producer acreages of carbon into blocks of credits that will be
traded on the ccx, much like other agricultural commodities.
usda extends emergency
grazing on crp acres in 30 states
agriculture secretary johanns extended the window for emergency
livestock grazing on conservation reserve program (crp) acres for
farmers and ranchers who are impacted by drought in 30 states. the
traditional deadline for emergency grazing on crp acres is september
30. extremely dry weather conditions have created real hardships
for farmers and ranchers in many parts of the country this year. the
emergency relief measure is intended to provide feed and forage to
producers who have lost hay stocks and grazing lands because of
organic seed error in last month�s enews: the
link to omri seed database is
http://seeds.omri.org/ (not what i posted). the omri organic
seed database will provide accurate information on the availability
and supply of hundreds of certified organic seed varieties, to help
growers and certifiers find supplies of organic seed.
organic seed alliance offering 3 winter workshops in oregon (nov
15-16), wash. (feb 8-9) & idaho (jan 10-11), on producing organic
seed. the 2-day workshops will give an overview of field day
activities and a presentation of the new osa organic seed production
manuals. topics include crop variety improvement, seed economics,
marketing, technical aspects of seed production, disease management,
record keeping, and seed harvesting and cleaning. advanced
registration and payment required. cost is $40 for two days
and includes lunch, snacks and beverages.
report: the center for rural affairs released a report
entitled the conservation security program: an assessment of
farmers� experience with program implementation, available at
addressing food borne threats to health in order to
examine issues critical to the protection of the nation's food
supply, the institute of medicine's forum on microbial threats
hosted a public workshop to explore existing knowledge and
unanswered questions on the nature and extent of food borne threats
to health. a summary:
farm to school curricula here is a resource that may
be of interest for farm-to-school and/or nutrition programs. it is a
peer-reviewed garden-enhanced nutrition curriculum for grades k-5.
usda releases renewable energy analysis paper usda
has released an analysis of the department's renewable energy and
energy efficiency programs. the paper looks at all the potential
sources of energy under agriculture's umbrella, from farm fields to
pasture and forest lands. it also tracks the results of usda's
renewable energy and energy efficiency programs and contemplates
enhancements and alternatives to those programs.
report on status of pollinators: the national research
council released a report entitled status of pollinators in north
america which finds that bees and other important pollinators
such as birds and bats are on the decline in the united states,
putting crops and other plants at risk.
guide to agricultural credit
written to help farmers understand agricultural finance, and to help
them be better prepared for the credit application process.
community health and food access: the local government role,
guide published by icma, the premier local government leadership and
management organization, describes how city and county managers,
department heads, and staff are developing and supporting
initiatives to improve access to healthy foods for all residents.
call to action
new proposed guidelines for the wic food
program and farmers markets: please help us generate public
comments by the november 6 deadline
to support the usda proposed rule that would greatly expand the use of wic
food coupons at farmers markets, which will allow millions of wic program
participants to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers� markets.
urge usda to make these revisions even stronger by (a) incorporating the
institute of medicine�s full recommendations for the amount of fruits and
vegetables necessary for a nutritionally adequate children�s food package,
and (b) coordinating the proposed new, expanded use of the wic �cash-value
food instrument� with the wic farmers market nutrition program (fmnp),
including automatically allowing wic fmnp-qualified markets and farmers to
redeem the new wic cash-value food instrument. for a complete template
action alert and background, please go to
www.msawg.org the best way to get your letter to the usda, for it to
have the greatest impact, is to print out and send a paper letter in the
mail to their address. second best is to go to
this usda website and use the online comment submission form. the
on-line form is better than sending an email. a lot of folks think emailed
comments to usda are discounted and can possibly get �lost�. the on-line
form is just as easy as sending an email and you get a confirmation email
that it has been delivered.
tell congress to support labeling and safety
testing of ge foods. congressman dennis kucinich (d-ohio)
recently introduced two bills related to ge crops and foods in the house of
representatives. one bill, hr 5269, the genetically engineered food right to
know act of 2006, would require mandatory labeling of all ge foods; the
other, hr 5268, the genetically engineered food safety act, would require
mandatory, pre-market safety testing of ge foods.
house interstate meat bill introduced
co-sponsors needed! h.r.
6130, the new markets for state-inspected meat and poultry act would allow
interstate sales of state-inspected meat and poultry products. it is similar
to legislation (s. 3519) introduced in the senate by sen. orrin hatch (ut).
please contact your congress members and ask them to cosponsor h.r. 6130,
and ask your senators to cosponsor s. 3519.
house-senate appropriations work in november three key
western states' senators need to hear from you re/ the following
montana - please phone senator burns� office at (202) 224-2644
idaho - please phone
senator craig�s office at (202) 224-2752
utah - please phone
senator bennett�s office at (202) 224-5444
1. insist on the senate position
of fully funding the conservation security program (csp)
2. yield to the house�s $3
million for the appropriate technology transfer for rural areas (attra)
3. hold firm to the
senate�s proposal to fund the value-added producer grant program (vapg) at
$48 million, as opposed to the house�s $28 million.
calendar of events - fall 2006
-3, sustainable ag expo,
monterey, california. the expo will feature trade exhibits and an all-day
educational workshop designed to help growers of all crops learn how to
implement sustainable practices on their farms.
- - inland northwest restoration conference
the first inland nw restoration
conference, held last october at wsu in pullman, brought together 170 leaders
from across the region to discuss native plants and habitat restoration. the
conversation will continue this year along the columbia river between the dalles
and the tri-cities.
10-12 - - the future of farming: tilth producers of washington annual
conference vancouver, washington - red lion at the quay.
keynote address: bringing the farm economy home by helena norberg-hodge,
founder of the international society for ecology and culture (http://www.isec.org.uk)
and author of many books. gary paul nabhan, author of
coming home to eat, will participate in a workshop entitled �renewing the
food traditions of salmon nation� at the tilth producers conference, november
11-12 in vancouver, wa. www.tilthproducers.org
15,16 - - a national organic action plan -
meeting just prior to the oregon tilth fall conference, at the
salem conference center. lunch will be provided on thursday. housing and
dinner is available through registration for the oregon tilth fall conference
(below). this mini-conference is free, register separately, with liana hoodes
november 17 & 18 - - oregon tilth fall conference,
salem conference center,
oregon join oregon tilth as we celebrate our 32nd year.
this two day event will feature practical seminars and workshops, a keynote
presentation by samuel fromartz, an organic wine tasting, an all-day trade show,
november 15-16 - - organic seed workshop
oregon - workshop
presentations will include a summary of the 2005-2006 organic seed field days,
presentation of the new osa organic radish seed production manual, information
about growing specific seed crops in southern oregon (including, onion, leeks,
lettuce, and brassicas), record keeping and economics of seed production.
29,30 - - jeffrey smith, author of seeds of deception, and the gmo
trilogy, speaking on gmo�s in montana:
in great falls, bozeman, and missoula respectively.
- - focus on farming iii conference, a day-long conference to learn,
share ideas and make connections, lynnwood convention center
conference join activists in washington, dc,
march 27-29, 2007, for the 1st annual bioreality conference. there
will be three exciting days of education, lobbying and strategic planning on the
issues surrounding genetically engineered foods.
early registration may be � price,
we administer 3 email
listservs: our monthly enews is sent to all 3.
wsawg list - for all topics related to sustainable agriculture,
wsawg gmo list - for issues related to genetically modified
wsawg conserve list
- for issues related to farm bill conservation
to subscribe, (or
unsubscribe) please refer to our members page:
or simply send
an email with your request to jill:
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mission: the western sustainable agriculture working group is a non-profit organization bringing together diverse individuals and groups working in sustainable agriculture and food systems to share successful models, realize our collective strengths, build regional capacity and inform the agriculture policy debate.
visit us online at www.westernsawg.org