Thursday, January 15, 2009

Looks like it's a done deal

Former governor Tom Vilsack sailed through his confirmation hearings for Sec'y of Ag, according to a story aired by NPR today.

It's discouraging to be reminded yet again that sustainable food production is so far below the national radar. However, I think it's also important for those of us who are interested in food issues not to get tunnel vision. We have to keep talking to people, keep educating, keep agitating for change and not assume everyone is up to speed on the importance of supporting sustainable food production.

There is still an opportunity to take action to support organic and sustainable food production and farming on the federal level. The Organic Consumer Association (it's an unfortunate acronym for us Oregonians, but don't hold it against them) is sponsoring a petition to appoint Jim Riddle:

"The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is calling on our national network and allies to pressure Obama to move beyond "agribusiness as usual" by drafting Jim Riddle to head the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the department that oversees organic food, farming, and standards. Riddle is an organic farmer from Minnesota, former Chair of the National Organic Standards Board, and a longtime advocate for sustainable and organic farming. With Riddle heading up the AMS, farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture, transition to organic programs, and the National Organic Program will finally receive the attention, technical assistance, and funding they deserve."

Check out more info on Riddle, including a personal statement from him, here.

You can sign the OCA's petition here; spread the word!

1 comment:

beth h said...

Wendell Berry has a lot to say about food. If you go here:

and scroll down about halfway you'll find it.