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 29, 2010

How Much Grass Must Be in Organic Milk?

President Obama has a lot on his plate, but he’s about to get more from activists who want cows to be required to eat more grass before the milk they produce can get the federal organic shield.


State of Wisconsin Shuts Down One Of The Oldest Biodynamic Farms For "Distributing" Raw Milk!

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The Zinniker Family Farm of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, was established in 1943 and is considered one the oldest biodynamic farms in the United States. The farm has played a key role in the biodynamic movement, hosting field days, workshops, and prep-making events that have introduced hundreds of thousands of farmers and consumers to biodynamic agriculture. 


Australia: Organic farming boosts farmers markets

Big retailers are facing competition from farmers markets, as buyers seek fresher food grown without agricultural chemicals.

In the rich soils of Byron Bay, farmer Alisdair Smithsom grows seasonal fruit and vegetables for local markets, and is helping to grow the local economy at the same time.


USDA Provides Funds for 2010 Exports 

USDA has allocated $234.5 million to 70 U.S. agricultural and food trade organizations to help promote American food and agricultural products overseas in fiscal 2010.

The money is provided under the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program, both of which are administered through USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.


Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development center to be created at Winrock

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Thursday that USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is awarding $900,000 to the Wallace Center at Winrock International to run the Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development (HUFED) Center.

This center will work to increase access to healthy, affordable foods, including locally produced agricultural products to underserved communities.


Staunton shifts eyes toward culinary tourism

It's not just the mountains and the architecture that stop Staunton visitors in their tracks.

When Zynodoa's Chef Mike Lund — who came to Staunton after years of feeding British and American nobility at Rappahannock County's prestigious Inn at Little Washington — first visited the Staunton Farmers Market, he called it "a chef's playland".


Tasty Travel: Seven Tips To Explore New Farmers’ Markets When On The Road

Talk about the trifecta of travel.  Make farmers’ markets a priority on your travel agenda and you save money (no admission fees), go green (most markets showcase seasonal, sustainable agriculture) and local (slap that cash directly in the farmer’s hand).


Colorado Farm Show: Dairy industry gets a peek at future

A program that would fundamentally change incentives that promote constant production growth in the country's dairy industry got major attention Wednesday at the Colorado Farm Show in Greeley.

The Dairy Price Stabilization Program — DPSP — would also narrow the gap between the pricing peaks and valleys dairy producers have lived with for years, said Doug Maddox, past president of the Holstein Association U.S.A., which, with 30,000 members, is the largest dairy organization in the nation.


The Local Approach

According to Robert Kenner’s muckraking documentary, Food Inc. (2008), the average meal travels 1500 miles from farm to market. And while some college students might not think twice about how far their raspberries are from home, a growing number are hungry for change, choosing to eat both locally and seasonally.

“Local food has a big impact on the community,” said Christian Shannon, a sophomore international business student. “It benefits them and is good for the environment.”


Cow sharers see ruling as raw milk precedent

Members of a controversial Lower Mainland raw milk co-op hope an Ontario court ruling will force B.C. health officials to stop trying to stamp out their use of unpasteurized dairy products.


SC senators approve healthier meals in schools

A South Carolina bill barring honey buns, greasy pizza and chocolate bars from being sold to students during the school day received tentative approval Wednesday, but opponents are already lining up


Doyle announces ‘buy local’ grants

A Bayfield company that returns abandoned apple orchards to commercial production and an Ashland-based cooperative of meat producers will receive state funding to increase local food sales and grow the state’s economy. They are two of nine projects to share $227,000 in funding from the state’s “Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin” grant program aimed at keeping food spending in local communities.


State of the Union's School Lunch: Nutrition as National Defense and Fiscal Health

When President Obama addresses the nation in his State of the Union, he will outline his priorities for 2010: jobs, the deficit, and health care reform. The President will then call for a three-year freeze on domestic programs. Will a program created to "promote the health and well-being of the nation's children" survive the freeze?


Karen Selick: Got milk justice?

Sitting in a courtroom listening to someone read 40 pages of closely written legal text is not something that I would ordinarily describe as a treat, but it was a genuine privilege to be in court last Thursday with dairy farmer Michael Schmidt to hear his acquittal on 19 charges relating to the distribution of raw milk.


Ontario dairy farmers urge appeal over raw milk

"At this point, DFO expects the Ontario government will appeal the decision to a higher court, defend the legislation and take all steps necessary to protect the public by ensuring the safety of the food supply," the provincial dairy farmers' group said in a release Friday.


Target says eliminating farmed salmon

The No. 2 U.S. discount retailer said that all salmon sold under its own brands will now be wild-caught Alaskan salmon. Sushi that includes farm-raised salmon will be changed over to wild-caught salmon by the end of the year, it said.


Raw milk fight becomes a symbol of food freedom

Chewing a hay lunch, Svetlana, Viola and Leah display a bored calm in their wide, brown eyes. Their glazed looks belie the burgeoning legal war over the product of their udders.

These unassuming dairy cattle have become symbols of a growing international food rights movement fuelled by mistrust of the industrial food system.


Growing China's local food movement

On Tuesday I had dinner with two rising stars of the Chinese sustainable agriculture movement, Cheng Cunwang and Shi Yan. Cheng was in the U.S. last fall as a guest of IATP, and he and Shi Yan have just finished translating Elizabeth Henderson's classicSharing the Harvest: A Citizen's Guide to Community Supported Agriculture, into Chinese. While in the U.S., Cheng made a pilgrimage to upstate New York to visit Ms. Henderson, and we talked about cooperating on an event to celebrate the launch of the Chinese edition later this spring.


Ag Leaders React to State of the Union Address 

A number of President Obama's ideas put forth during the State of the Union address Wednesday were welcomed by the American Farm Bureau Federation. Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said his group welcomes the call for Congress to pass energy legislation including more production of renewable fuels and nuclear power. Growth Energy, National Sorghum Producers and the Renewable Fuels Association were also pleased to hear the President place a priority on the potential of renewable energies.


Looking Back at Farming Over the Past 10 Years

EPHRATA, Pa. — From Farm Bills to disease outbreaks; from an escalating debate on how food should be produced to roller coaster milk prices and record high corn production, farmers have been witness to quite a decade.

A lot has transpired throughout the last 10 years and trying to summarize it is difficult. So we have tried to boil it down to some of the most important trends Lancaster Farming has reported on over the decade.


Raw milk: let’s have regulation, not litigation

ONTARIO’S RAW MILK producers are essentially in the same position today as the province’s paralegals used to be. Despite last week’s victory by Michael Schmidt, they remain at risk of prosecution because of laws either restricting or banning their activity altogether.

After decades during which unregulated paralegals challenged laws barring them from doing work reserved for lawyers, the Province finally agreed to permit them to perform a fairly wide range of legal services, but only if they subjected themselves to regulation by the Law Society of Upper Canada.


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