Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
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Defending the rights and broadening the freedoms of family farms and protecting
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News for January 20, 2010

USDA Hosts Outreach Webinars on Mobile Slaughter Units

WASHINGTON, January 20, 2010 - As part of the USDA "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is hosting two Web outreach seminars today and tomorrow on mobile slaughter units. Amidst heightened interest in building the capacity for slaughter in rural areas, the seminars are meant to educate small and very small operators of meat and poultry establishments about mobile slaughter units' economic potential.


Renewing Husbandry

Wendell Berry*

Lanes Landing Farm, Port Royal, KY 40058

* Corresponding author

I remember well a summer morning in about 1950 when my father sent a hired man with a McCormick High Gear No. 9 mowing machine and a team of mules to the field I was mowing with our nearly new Farmall A. That memory is a landmark in my mind and my history for reasons that are clear enough. I had been born into the way of farming represented by the mule team, and I loved it. I knew irresistibly that the mules were good ones. They were stepping along beautifully at a rate of speed in fact only a little slower than mine. But now I saw them suddenly from the vantage point of the tractor, and I remember how fiercely I resented their slowness. I saw them as "in my way." For those who have had no similar experience, I will explain that I was feeling exactly the outrage and the low-grade superiority of a hot-rodder caught behind an aged dawdler in urban traffic. It is undoubtedly significant that in the summer of 1950 I passed my sixteenth birthday and became eligible to solve all my problems by driving an automobile.


How Cows (Grass-Fed Only) Could Save the Planet

On a farm in coastal Maine, a barn is going up. Right now it's little more than a concrete slab and some wooden beams, but when it's finished, the barn will provide winter shelter for up to six cows and a few head of sheep. None of this would be remarkable if it weren't for the fact that the people building the barn are two of the most highly regarded organic-vegetable farmers in the country: Eliot Coleman wrote the bible of organic farming, The New Organic Grower, and Barbara Damrosch is the Washington Post's gardening columnist. At a time when a growing number of environmental activists are calling for an end to eating meat, this veggie-centric power couple is beginning to raise it. "Why?" asks Coleman, tromping through the mud on his way toward a greenhouse bursting with December turnips. "Because I care about the fate of the planet."


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