Sunday, April 30, 2006
Planting the seeds of a cultivated future:
read in full: see title link above.
Save Family Farms, Save America
By Willie Nelson
April 27, 2006
It's time to abandon the failed model of industrial agriculture and join the Good Food movement: embrace healthy, delicious food that makes the entire country stronger.
As one of the founders of Farm Aid, I have watched with admiration and a good amount of satisfaction the growth of what many now call the "Good Food Movement" - the growing interest in and demand for organic, humanely-raised and family farm-identified food that is transforming the way America grows its food and how our food gets to our tables.
While it might seem obvious to many, good food comes from farms with healthy soil and clean water. I've always believed that the most important people on the planet are the ones who plant the seeds and care for the soil where they grow. As the stewards of the land, family farmers are the foundation of this movement, as well as its guarantor.
No one can say they planted the original seed that gave rise to this movement, but many can claim they have helped nurture and cultivate its growth. Farm Aid's vision for America is to have many family farmers on the land - a vision born out of our strong conviction that who grows our food and who cares for the land and water is of vital national importance; that farmers and their fields are the fabric that holds our country together.
Many have asked me, "What is the Good Food movement?" The Good Food movement isn't just about good and delicious food - although this is certainly one of its greatest achievements. The Good Food movement is at the center of some of the most important issues and debates that will define American society for years to come: issues like stewardship of our soil and water, local and democratic control of decision making and land use, health and nutrition and a thriving and sustainable food and farm economy needed to feed and fuel America.
While good, healthy, fresh food from family farms is the most visible product of the movement that each of us can enjoy, the movement stands for much more. It represents the interests of all who care about the future of this land, its resources and its people. As members of this movement and as eaters, the food we choose to buy connects us directly to those who produced it and to the multiple reasons why it is in our own interests to see this movement flourish.
If you enjoy good food and care about the issues behind this movement, I invite you to take action today to ensure the future of family farming and your right to choose food from family farms. The most direct and regular action you can take is to search out and buy as much of your food directly from farm families in your area. Our food choices today shape tomorrow's agriculture. Buying organic milk today strengthens tomorrow's outlook for organic dairy farmers. Think about one food item that you can buy from local farmers and commit to buying it. These small and simple actions are building the Good Food movement and changing American agriculture for the better.
The other opportunity we have to further this movement is the upcoming debate over the next Farm Bill. If you value good food from family farms, call your legislator and demand a Farm Bill that strengthens local and regional food economies.
If you care about local and democratic control, demand a Farm Bill that curbs the power of factory farms and the influence of lobbyists for large food corporations. If you care about health and nutrition for children, demand a Farm Bill that puts more fresh, wholesome food in our cities' schools. If you want your children and grandchildren to enjoy the benefits of a clean environment, demand a Farm Bill that increases protection of our natural resources by helping farmers transition to organic and more sustainable growing methods. The future of good food depends on you.
read in full: see title link above.