Food Freedom or Fight
28 Jul 2014 Leave a comment
24 Jul 2014 Leave a comment
21 Jul 2014 1 Comment
With her life’s dream of being a small family farmer in Virginia, Martha Boneta obtained 64 acres in Fauquier County, Va., in 2006 to raise vegetables, herbs, raw honey, eggs, and host small animals. Little did she know that a birthday party with eight 10-year-old girls would trigger zealous county regulators who saw the party as an event needing special exception permits and required a hearing that would impose fees.
Thinking she had all the right commercial permits and licenses, Boneta was still threatened with $5,000 per day fines despite Virginia being a right-to-farm state, where local governments are considered unable to use zoning laws to bring nuisance suits for customary farm operations.
Soon enough, it became clear that there were outside interests who seemed connected to county government, the IRS and even her mortgage company who wanted to force her off her land, and she decided to fight back. (RELATED: IRS Inspector General Probes Whether Agency Abused Virginia Tea Partier)
As citizens rallied behind her passionate defense of farming and property rights, she found her way to “Fox And Friends,” where a national following continued to build. Pressure mounted against government harassment and this month with her passionate, determined civic leadership, the Boneta bill was signed into law by Virginia’s governor, providing farmers greater protections for customary activities at small family farms.
Serving as a model for other citizens feeling targeted and harassed by government, Boneta says, “Never give up because our freedoms, our liberties, our property rights are fundamental to us all.” Even at great personal cost, connecting with other citizens and groups gave Boneta courage that most don’t know is there for them too.
Mrs. Thomas does not necessarily support or endorse the products, services or positions promoted in any advertisement contained herein, and does not have control over or receive compensation from any advertiser.
18 Jul 2014 Leave a comment
From Missouri Rural Crisis:
02 Jul 2014 Leave a comment
I was asked to do an op ed piece on Amendment for a Missouri newspaper, it is copied below. Please feel free to spread it about and re-post at your will. We need to stop this change to our Constitution!
by Doreen Hannes
Amendment 1, on the Aug. 5 ballot in Missouri, is deceptive right from the first sentence. The amendment was supposed to be on the ballot in November but has been moved up to the August primary election, likely to minimize opportunity for those who see the danger of the amendment to educate voters on the issue.
Originally, the proposed amendment specifically protected “modern practices and agricultural technology.” That means factory-style farming of livestock and biotech, particularly genetically modified plants and animals. Yes, animals. Today there are pigs crossed with mice, spider genes inserted into goats and human genes inserted into cattle. They are all patented, and just as you cannot tell GMO corn from heirloom corn by looking at it, you cannot tell genetically modified animals have other species of DNA in them.
The entities pushing amendment 1 are large agri-biz and biotech companies, including Monsanto, owner of patents on genetically modified life forms, which is experienced in destroying farmers’ livelihoods by taking them to court over crops contaminated by Monsanto’s seed, and Cargill, who helped bring even more illegal immigration by dumping cheap GMO corn into Mexico’s market and destroying the small Mexican farmer’s ability to make a living. Another biotech organization that supports the amendment is Syngenta, which looks to secure more ground for its patented life forms. Farm Bureau (even though it has among its membership some of the best people in the world) is arguably the biggest proponent of free-trade agreements, which destroy the ability of American farmers to sell their products in an open and honest market at a livable price.
Several of us who fought in the legislature to stop this wrong-headed proposal from becoming a constitutional amendment offered a substitute that would actually benefit Missouri family farmers. The proponents of amendment 1 would not hear of it. They said it wouldn’t protect their “constituents.” Here is the substitute offered:
“That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri’s economy. To protect this vital sector of Missouri’s economy, the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in direct trade with consumers shall be forever guaranteed in this state. No law shall be enacted which abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural practices that secure independent family farm’s ability to save seed, preserve livestock bloodlines, or impede their access to market.”
The supposed “right to farm” amendment is being sold as a way to mitigate the effects on agriculture of “radical animal rights activists.” While the radical animal rights movement is dangerous, its proponents have not consolidated agriculture and negotiated away the family farm in order to line the pockets of multi-national corporations, bureaucrats and lobbyists. The major pushers for Amendment 1 have certainly done so.
Should this change to our constitution pass, courts, lawyers and bureaucrats must define “farming” and “ranching.” If you’re harmed by a factory-farm, you won’t have much recourse to sue. GMOs, which are increasingly being outlawed in other countries, will be unstoppable, and vertical integration (quite possibly under Chinese ownership) will take over Missouri’s family farms and reduce them to a fond memory.
If you want to save the family farm, vote NO on Amendment 1.
17 Jun 2014 Leave a comment
Here are some Free Kindle books on some really excellent topics…Enjoy!
10 Jun 2014 1 Comment
(From PRCNEWS.org, links at original post)
The Missouri DNR (and their counterpart in virtually every other State in the Union) has taken point on bringing about the EPA’s desired Clean Water Restoration Act plans. The CWRA never made it through Congress, but the EPA has no compunctions about handing out money to State agencies to have them move forward without legislative oversight by taking a full on back door approach to control land, water and people through “integrated land and watershed management”.
The ploy is coming to your doorstep via “nonpoint source” pollution management plans. Missouri’s plan is contained in a 166 page pdf, and it not fun reading…at least not for me. Here is a link to the pdf. You may make comments to the DNR through July 8th regarding the NPS Management Plan.
If past agency actions mean anything, they will say, “This is only a draft!” Well, as my friend Bob said regarding the National Animal Identification dissimulation, “It’s like finding a diary of a guy with very detailed plans about how he is going to come into your house, take all of your possessions and then rape and murder your wife and children, in extreme detail. When you confront him with it, he says, ‘Why are you so upset? It’s just a draft.'”
Here again is the link to the Missouri DNR “draft” for Nonpoint Source Pollution Management.
Areas to be managed under the NPS Management Plan. Note that they extend beyond the borders of Missouri.
Critical to understanding this plan are the definitions. Following are the most important definitions for our understanding.
First of all, we have to know what “noinpoint source pollution” means. From the plan, here it is:
Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution: Occurs when water runs over land or through the ground, picks up natural or human-made pollutants, and deposits them in surface waters or groundwater. Pollutants commonly associated with NPS include nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen), pathogens, clean sediments, oil and grease, salt, and pesticides.
Then we need to know what specifically the agency defines as “pollutant”. NPS is what occurs when water runs over land or through the ground….like when it rains. So we look for the definition of “pollutant”. Here it is:
Pollutant: Dredged spoil, solid waste, incinerator reside, sewage, garbage, sewer sludge, munitions, chemical waste, biological material, radioactive materials, heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sand, cellar dirt, filter backwash or industrial, municipal or agricultural waste discharged into water.
Rock? Sand? Biological material? How on earth are you supposed to stop rain and wind from moving rock, sand and…leaves, pollen, bugs, skin cells, egg shells, or other “biological material”? Obviously you can mitigate animal waste from livestock to a certain degree, but you can’t stop the trees.
Ok, fine. So we are again going to remove nature from involving itself in natural processes. If you are familiar with “good agricultural practices”, you already know about that.
Now then, what exactly is it that the DNR is going to “manage”? Well, “waters of the state” via “watershed” management. So how have they defined “waters of the state”? Here it is…and it is not good:
Waters of the state: All rivers, streams, lakes, and other bodies of surface and subsurface water lying within or forming a part of the boundaries of the state which are not entirely confined and located completely upon lands owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by a single person or by two (2) or more people jointly or as tenants in common. These waters also include waters of the United States lying within or adjacent to the state.
And then the watershed portion of their management is the real cherry on top in this plan. Here’s their definition:
Watershed: An area of land that catches rainfall and snowmelt, which then drains into low-lying bodies of water. Watersheds come in all shapes and sizes, from a few acres to over a million square miles and are sometimes difficult to delineate. Consequently, Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) were created to logically convey the drainage relationship of stream systems, watersheds, and larger river basins.
So, even if you have a pond that is wholly contained on your property and you are a single person with free and clear title and no grant money that might cloud your title, you are still within a water shed, and therefore you fall into their management plan for “nonpoint source pollution”, which is anything that might get into water.
Following are some things that they intend to achieve through this new management plan. These will look very familiar to those who fought the White River Blueway designation at this time last year:
•Removing dams and levees
•Keeping a buffer zone from livestock
•Wetland Restoration and Renaturalization
The restoration of wetlands that are hydrologically connected to surface waters is important for the effective filtering of NPS pollutants. Projects that restore previously existing wetland areas that are being degraded through existing land uses such as farming, mowing or other activities are encouraged.
Nutrient management projects (must include more than planning);
Sediment control projects (particularly riparian or other filter areas);
Some forestry BMPs;
Some controlled drainage projects;
Livestock exclusion and manure management projects;
Conservation crop rotation projects with cover crops;
Riparian re-vegetation and/or protection projects; and
Buffers and field borders.
It’s beginning to sound entirely too familiar, isn’t it? The US Army Corps of Engineers and the USDA and EPA are partners in this plan. They will be doling out grant money to increase “stakeholder” support for these NPS management plans.
Please contact your County Commissioners and your State Representatives about this. It is entirely too overreaching and they are planning on throwing around grant money like we aren’t nearly 18 trillion dollars in debt.
Comments should be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources, Water Protection Program, Watershed Protection Section, P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Emails should provide contact information of the sender (i.e., name, mailing address, phone number) and include “Nonpoint Source Management Plan” in the subject line.
10 Jun 2014 Leave a comment
Recently, I heard about a group calling themselves “Sustainable Ozark Partnership”…From the name, I didn’t like it. After finding a document delineating their desire to take a four county area surrounding Ft Leonard Wood and bring about total agricultural control to support the military base and other federal entities, specifically the Department of Homeland Security, I really don’t like it.
While I am total support of local food, I am completely against the leveraging of grant money to bring in “CEA” (controlled environment agriculture: very tall buildings that are dedicated to growing specific crops via computer controlled rotation and fertilization) buildings and make local farmers the captive supply food line for federal interests. And that is exactly what the “Sustainable Partnership” wants to do.
On it’s face, it looks like a feudal fiefdom for the military. Or a foodal fiefdom, if you prefer.
Here is the document with their intentions. Of course, one of those intentions is to get “stakeholders” to engage in the plan with the group seeking the grant money.
I haven’t had much time to devote digging into this, but I did find that similar plans are underway for Ft Hood in Texas. It is highly likely that there are many other programs in the works around armed services bases across the nation.
10 Jun 2014 Leave a comment
09 Jun 2014 Leave a comment
(Reuters) – The Department of Agriculture has warned of sticker shock facing home chefs on the eve of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the unofficial start of the U.S. summer grilling season.
The agency said conditions in California could have “large and lasting effects on U.S. fruit, vegetable, dairy and egg prices,” as the most populous U.S. state struggles through what officials are calling a catastrophic drought.
The consumer price index (CPI) for U.S. beef and veal is up almost 10 percent so far in 2014, reflecting the fastest increase in retail beef prices since the end of 2003. Prices, even after adjusting for inflation, are at record highs.
“The drought in Texas and Oklahoma has worsened somewhat in the last month, providing further complications to the beef production industry,” USDA said.
Beef and veal prices for the whole of 2014 are now forecast to increase by 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent, a sharp advance from last month’s forecast for a 3 to 4 percent rise. Pork prices are set to rise by 3 percent to 4 percent, up from a 2 to 3 percent advance expected a month ago.
The USDA said overall U.S. food price inflation for 2014, including food bought at grocery stores and food bought at restaurants, would rise by 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2014.
That is up from 2013, when retail food prices were almost flat, but in line with historical norms and unchanged from April’s forecast.
“The food-at-home CPI has already increased more in the first four months of 2014 then it did in all of 2013,” USDA noted. At-home spending accounts for about 60 percent of the U.S. food CPI.
A major factor for rising pork prices is the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv), responsible for more than 7 million U.S. piglet deaths in the past year.
Egg prices are also climbing – up 15 percent in April alone – and are expected to rise by 5 to 6 percent on the year, and higher milk prices are feeding through to other products in the dairy case, particularly cheese.
Sweet lovers and caffeine addicts will see some relief, however, since global prices for sugar and coffee remain low, USDA said.
The agency forecast prices of sugar and sweets to rise by 1 percent to 2 percent in 2014 and prices for non-alcoholic beverages to rise by 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent. Both forecasts were lowered this month.
“It appears supermarkets are maintaining minimal price inflation on packaged food products, possibly in an effort to keep prices competitive in light of rising cost pressures for most perishable items,” USDA said.
So far the severe California drought has not had a discernible impact on national fruits or vegetable prices, USDA said, while warning that the effects are still to come.