in this issue...
if your email version is hard to read, please refer to the webpage version:
farm bill update -
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, vibrant rural communities.
http://www.msawg.org/key-farmbill.html the sac/msawg
winter meeting will be held in washington dc on march 6-8,
2007 with capacity building and strategy sessions for work on
the farm bill to be followed by visits to capitol hill. partners
organic committee has developed an 8-point 2007 farm bill agenda and
is working on an action plan to shape the future of organics for the
next 2 decades. submit comments
an article by michael pollan in the ncsa fall newsletter about how
important the farm bill is to the health of our children and the
health of our land....�in the midst of a
national epidemic of diabetes and obesity our government is, in
effect, subsidizing the production of high-fructose corn syrup.�
and �this time around let�s call it �the food bill� and put our
legislators on notice that this is about us and we�re paying
time to crow here in
montana, we are proud to say, organic grain farmer
jon tester (d-mt) has been elected to the us senate. jon is a third
generation farmer from big sandy, montana and has been farming
organically since 1987. his crops on the 1400 acre farm include
hard red wheat, hard white wheat, barley, lentils, and kamut. tester
has served as the national treasurer for the organic crop
improvement association international.
usda gives rubber-stamp market approval to the ge rice that has
contaminated the food supply. this
approval-by-contamination puts consumers and environment
at risk, and erodes trust in us food for overseas markets. the
controversial decision was taken despite the insistence of bayer
cropscience, that it dropped plans to commercialize the variety,
known as libertylink601 (ll601), five years ago. also, usda
continues to allow bayer to test experimental ge crops.
arkansas newspaper tells the story: so what has the gm
contamination meant for the us rice industry? (remember: no gm rice
has ever been grown commercially in the us. there were only test
trials that were completed back in 2001.)
*the industry's worst ever
*41% of us rice exports
*more than 25 federal
*trade with the 25-nation eu
at a standstill
*other countries have banned
us long-grain rice imports
*many other countries
*some markets for medium-
and short-grain rice also affected
*the problem involves not
just bayer's (gm) ll601 rice, but another bayer gm rice, ll62 has
been detected in europe and in us testing
*32% of nearly 700
long-grain rice samples - including everything from unmilled to
parboiled rice - tested positive for gm traits
*gm traits are so prevalent
that "you cannot guarantee statistically that you'll ever get rid
*us rice may never again be
validly described as "gm-free".
blames farmers and god for rice
contamination - contends that rice farmers and an "act of god"
are to blame for the inadvertent release of the (previously)
leading rice exporters cooperate on preventing use of gm rice -thailand
and vietnam have agreed to cooperate on preventing use of gm rice
preemption bills update -
go to this website for most recent info:
10 new states to offer
agri-lite in 2007: usda announced this week it will
expand the availability of adjusted gross revenue-lite (agr-lite)
insurance, one of the few insurance products available to
diversified crop and crop-livestock producers, to 10 additional
states in 2007. the new states are ariz., colo., kan., minn.,
mont., nev., n.m., utah, wis., and wyo., bringing the total number
of states in which producers can purchase agr-lite coverage to 28.
coverage is based on a producer�s five-year historical irs-reported
commodity corn prices pushed up by ethanol demand
the ethanol industry�s continuing expansion and its appetite for
corn is helping ignite the biggest bull market for grain in 30
years, according to a recent story in the wall street journal
heritage turkeys making a comeback
it's turkey season in the
united states, and heritage turkey breeds are making a comeback from
coast to coast, at least in the media.
burlington free press in vermont reports on a farm, which is
raising heritage white hollands on pasture for the first time this
year. in california, the
santa cruz sentinel reports on a visit to thomas farm, where 40
bourbon reds are in residence.
wal-mart charged with
selling non-organic food as organic the cornucopia
institute, the nation�s most aggressive organic farming watchdog,
has filed a formal
legal complaint with the usda asking them to investigate
allegations of illegal �organic� food distribution by wal-mart
stores, inc. cornucopia has documented cases of nonorganic food
products being sold as organic in wal-mart�s grocery departments.
terrorism act: this month the house by
voice vote approved the animal terrorism enterprise act of 2006 (s.
3880). the senate had approved the bill by unanimous consent in
september. under the bill, protestors may be fined or
imprisoned for threats, acts of violence, property damage, trespass,
harassment, or intimidation taken against a person or entity on
account of their relationship with an animal enterprise. the bill
specifically criminalizes not only interfering with "animal
enterprises," defined as a commercial or academic enterprise that
uses or sells animals or animal products for profit, food or fiber
production, agriculture, research, or testing, but also interfering
with organizations that have a connection to, relationship with, or
transaction with the animal enterprise. this would include buyers
of animal products, brokers who receive and market cafo waste, etc.
damages include �economic damages� or �economic disruption�
including loss of profits. activists, beware.
bolivia to outlaw
gm crops and go organic
to a bbc world service program, the bolivian government aims to
transform the country into an organic oasis in south america and to
outlaw gm crops.
ban on gm trees sought
by international groups environmental groups have urged un
treaty signatories to bar gm trees from the kyoto protocol on
reducing greenhouse gas emissions. gm trees have been proposed for
plantations created to offset carbon emissions as part of the kyoto
protocol's clean development mechanism. the organizations said the
un framework convention on climate change must align its policies
with the un convention on biological diversity, which already has
taken a position against gm trees.
un fao to explore
organic agriculture�s potential the united nations food
and agriculture organization (fao) plans to investigate the
potential for organic agriculture to support food security needs
around the world, according to a report by the
international federation of organic agriculture movements (ifoam).
the fao committee on world food security met in rome and
concluded that practically no progress has been made with the
world food summit target since its establishment in 1992.
nanotech - epa
to regulate a form of nanotechnology - consumer products using
extremely small particles of silver to kill germs will need epa
approval, part of the government's first move to regulate the
burgeoning nanotechnology industry. the epa said it will require
that manufacturers provide scientific evidence that their use of
nanosilver won't harm waterways or public health.
food crops genetically modified to overproduce single nutrients
could be public health hazards as overdose of many single
nutritional factors are known to be toxic. many crop modifications
for �food quality' are in the pipelines. in addition, much activity
is also devoted to creating gm microbes to enhance nutrition and
permaculture certificate programs all classes are held at
lost valley educational center, an intentional community, non-profit
educational center, and nature sanctuary dedicated to learning,
living, and teaching sustainable, ecologically-based culture,
located outside eugene, oregon.
the world resources institute (wri)
has released agriculture and climate change: the
policy context, the first in a series of two farm bill policy
notes that look at opportunities and reasons for the u.s.
agriculture industry to participate in climate policy discussions.
this note analyzes the impact of climate change on u.s. agriculture,
discusses sources of greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions from the
agricultural sector, and explains the possible roles for agriculture
in proposed climate change legislation.
gm alfalfa issues
worc recently released
a guide to genetically modified alfalfa for alfalfa producers
and consumers concerned about the potential for contamination and
other unanswered questions about roundup ready alfalfa.
the guide covers
environmental, agricultural, and economic issues of concern to u.s.
farmers, ranchers and consumers.
asking alfalfa growers to review this information and consider the
risks of planting roundup ready alfalfa. we�re also asking extension
agents and crop advisors not to recommend gm alfalfa to alfalfa
growers until the questions about contamination, liability, and
spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds are answered.�
download the guide at
www.worc.org, or let us know if you�d like us to mail you a
copy. in addition, worc, other farm and consumer groups, and two
alfalfa producers sued the u.s. department of agriculture in
february, challenging the approval of roundup ready alfalfa. the
court will hear oral arguments in the case on january 17, 2007 .
agroecology and the struggle for food sovereignty in
describes market opportunities for small-scale producers, the
regional food sovereignty movement, agroecological production,
impacts on growers of regional free trade agreements in the americas
and other issues. may be
ordered in english or spanish for us$32, $12 for students.
developing and extending sustainable agriculture
a new social contract
challenges faced by farmers and ranchers in evolving new
agricultural systems for the 21st century. available from
hawthorne press, the first chapter is free online.
paradigm wars: indigenous peoples' resistance to
author jerry mander and celebrated
indigenous leader, victoria tauli-corpuz, report on �a momentous
collision of worldviews that pit the forces of economic
globalization against the earth's indigenous peoples.� us$30.00,
postage and handling included, from
international forum on globalization.
call to action
house-senate appropriations work in early december three
key western states� senators need to hear from you
now re/ three key conservation
programs. please call:
- senator burns� office at (202) 224-2644 and urge him to:
- senator craig�s office at (202) 224-2752 and urge him to:
utah - senator bennett�s office at
(202) 224-5444 and urge him to:
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) program
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
sign-on letter to support full funding for the conservation security program:
sac has drafted an organization sign-on letter to congressional
agricultural appropriators requesting them to provide full, uncapped funding
for the conservation security program in fy2007 agricultural
appropriations. the letter is posted at
www.msawg.org. to sign on send email to sheilah davidson of the
national campaign for sustainable agriculture at
paraquat tens of thousands of people are poisoned by the
syngenta herbicide paraquat every year. the berne declaration has started
a broad public proceeding against syngenta on the website:
www.stop-paraquat.net . to highlight the urgency of our campaign we call
on civil society to publicly condemn syngenta's inhuman business policies.
we hope to enlist the support of at least 50,000 people to vote and
pronounce a guilty verdict in the case against paraquat. endorse the stop
paraquat campaign with the name of your organisation. to do so, write an
oppose exemption of cafo manure from cercla and epcra:
senator pete domenici (r-nm) is expected to offer a rider to the fy2007
agricultural appropriations bill, or other measures that might move in the
lame duck session, that would exempt manure and other cafo waste from the
comprehensive environmental response, compensation and liability act (cercla
or superfund) and the emergency planning community right-to-know act (epcra).
the cercla statute has been used by cities to force cleanup of areas where
cafo manure has been overapplied and has been used by citizen groups to get
an accounting of cafo emissions of hazardous air pollutants. cercla and
epcra contain an exemption for the normal application of manure and for the
release of hazardous substances that are permitted under other federal
before congress reconvenes on december 4, call your senators to
oppose any measure that would exempt manure from cercla and epcra, including
the attachment of the measure as a rider to another bill.
calendar of events - fall 2006
december 6 - organics and plant pathogen suppression -
seattle, washington - - the washington organic recyling council
annual meeting features dr. a.j. hoitink, one of the world�s leading scientists
in the area of organic waste recycling with emphasis on biological control of
december 11 -
good agricultural practices for fruit & vegetable processing -
corvallis, oregon - - the department of food sciences at oregon state university
presents this one-day course. this workshop provides participants better
understanding of microbial risk and contamination of fruits and vegetables
december 12 -
establishing market access and value for stewardship farmers -
everett, washington - - farming & the environment will be holding this one-day
conference to provide agricultural producers with valuable information on
cooperative and business development, access to capital, access to direct
markets, transportation and distribution, and value-added food processing.
january 8-9 -
organic seed workshop - twin falls, id - cost: $40; advance
registration and payment required. send a check and contact information to:
organic seed alliance, po box 772, port townsend, wa 98368.
january 14 -
17 - greenhouse crop production & engineering design short course -
tucson, arizona - the controlled environment agriculture center (ceac) at the
university of arizona presents its 7th annual course, this year on the theme "energ�the
resourceful greenhouse." the course offers three days of expert plant science
and engineering presentations. meet and network with professionals in both
industry and education.
january 17-19 - growers marketing forum:
farm to fork - tucson, arizona - the university of arizona presents this 3-day
professional education short course and commercial tour. this course is
organized by the ceac and is directed to all greenhouse growers, and the
january 18-20 - soils and agronomy intensive 3-day course - portland, oregon - sustainable
agricultural technologies, inc., presents this three-day course with agriculture
educator and author dr. arden andersen. "back to basics" will emphasize basic
science principles, soil and plant nutrient fundamentals, key grower practices
and concepts that will empower you to successfully grow sustainably,
biologically, ecologically and profitably.
january 23-24 - smart energy management in agriculture
- pacific grove, california - as part of its smart energy management in
agriculture project, eco-farm is offering this
pre-conference combined with the ecological farming conference. the smart
energy management in agriculture regional training will include a tour of
central coast farms employing the latest in energy alternatives, solar,
biodiesel, efficiency and more, followed by a day of workshops on energy
efficiency, independence, and affordability.
24-27 - ecological farming conference -
pacific grove, california
- this 27th annual conference is a major
national sustainable agriculture event that offers numerous speakers, many
concurrent workshops, tours and social activities. workshops address everything
from biofuels and marketing to weed management and organic integrated pest
28-30 - harvesting clean energy conference vii
- boise, idaho -
harvesting clean energy conference is the northwest�s premiere gathering for
agriculture and energy interests working to advance new opportunities for
agriculture producers and rural communities in clean energy production.
february 8-9 - organic seed workshop-
vernon, washington - the
second day of the workshop will be an intensive class on the fundamentals of
plant variety improvement taught by osa director of research, dr. john navazio.
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
(you may also subscribe
to just the enews)
to subscribe, (or
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