Twenty-four Gold Stars

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH09), the longest-serving woman in Congress, has filed a bill meant to increase the supply of fresh produce in America’s cities. H.R. 4971, the Greening Food Deserts Act, was filed March 25 with 23 co-sponsors. It’s now on the docket of both the Education and Labor and Agriculture […]

Hungry for a Better School Lunch? Pick Up the Phone

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson While school is in session — and, in some places, through summer vacation, too — about one-third of the energy a child takes in during the day should come from the lunch he or she eats at school. And the food that provides that energy shouldn’t be all starch and fat.  […]

Eat Your Vegetables!

By Daphne Bishop Did you ever think that mom’s admonition to “Eat your vegetables!” would not only shape national policy, but forge culinary partnerships between children, farmers and chefs to revolutionize the way we eat? Sam Kass is the chef who cooks for the Obama family with an eye towards uniting healthier menus and the […]

Vilsack continues sales pitch for cap-and-trade as administration’s ‘Rural Tour’ nears an end

By Al Cross   At the next-to-last scheduled forum on the Obama administration’s Rural Tour, no one mentioned the cap-and-trade bill aimed at limiting climate change — until Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who is making all the tour’s stops, brought it up in a briefing with reporters after a community forum at the Scottsbluff National […]

Administration’s Rural Tour makes stops in Alaska

by Al Cross The word “unique” is not supposed to take modifiers of degree, but every stop on the Obama administration’s Rural Tour is arguably unique, and the latest one was probably the most unique — or, to be grammatically correct, the one that was most undoubtedly unique. It was in rural Alaska, off the […]

Senate Bill Cuts NAIS Funds in Half

by Debra Kozikowski Last week, the U.S .Senate passed an agriculture spending bill that cut funding for the controversial National Animal Identification System in half and only allows it to be used for rule making and not to implement the program scheduled to start on October 1.  Tom Steever of Brownfield Network reported the House […]

To Listen or Lecture, That is the Question

by Debra Kozikowski The Obama administration’s” Rural Tour” is in full swing and rural advocates hope for more listening than lecturing when it comes to addressing the needs of America’s small towns and rural communities. In a piece titled Searching for Hamlet: To be or not to be for rural education, Marty Strange and Robin […]

Three Wise men, Planting Ideas Where It Counts

by Al Cross Author-farmer Wendell Berry, right, geneticist Wes Jackson, center, and sustainable-agriculture advocate Fred Kirschenmann, left, lobbied the Obama administration and senators this week “for a new kind of food policy,” The Washington Post reports. The trio wants “a 50-year-farm bill, a proposal for gradual, systemic change in American farming. The plan asks for […]

What’s On Your Food?

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson OMG, as the texters say. The apple I had for lunch may have had 42 different pesticide residues on it, according to the USDA pesticide testing program. Yes, I washed it, but I have no idea how much residue washing removes. I guess this is why some people (not me, not […]

N.A.I.S. R.I.P?

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson I’ve been grousing about NAIS, the National Animal Identification System, since 2006, when we got a letter from the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture inviting us to put radio frequency ID tags our poultry so the government could come and slaughter them if someone, somewhere, came down with a case of bird […]