the changing role of american farmers

posted November 12, 2009

Check out this video and write up of a panel in NYC in September.

Civil Eats
November 11, 2009
by Paul Crossfield

The discussion on American agriculture is evolving every day, and as a result, agribusiness has been stoking a backlash against those pushing for a change in how we grow our food. Notably, Michael Pollan has been a target at recent university speaking engagements; a few weeks ago at Cal-Poly, when a feedlot owner threatened to rescind a donation if Pollan was allowed to speak solo, the university caved, making his talk a part of a panel discussion. This is all an indication that the conversation on fixing our broken food system is gaining traction, as the discussion grows more nuanced, more solutions-oriented and more threatening to the status quo.

Last month in New York, Lisa Hamilton, author of Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness, hosted just such a nuanced discussion on the current state of agriculture featuring Verlyn Klinkenborg, New York Times writer whose column is called “The Rural Life,” farmer Fred Kirschenmann, Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, and farmer Mary Howell Martens, who grows 1400 acres of organic corn, beans and other grains with her husband and three children in Penn Yan, New York.

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