Posted by Andrew Kang Bartlett on May 31, 2011 in Current Affairs, Environment, Farm Bill, Food and Drink, Food Choices, Food Justice, Hunger, Religion, Take Action Now | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: ADM, agribusiness, agricultural, agriculture, agriculture, bat, bats, bee, bees, blog, Cargill, climate change, CO2, colony disorder, emissions, faith and food, farm, farm bill, farmer, food & faith, food and faith, food justice, food miles, food sovereignty, food stamps, foodies, genetically engineered, global warming, GMO, GMOs, grounded scriptures, hunger, justice, low-income, Monsanto, pcusa, poverty, presbyterian, produce, recipes, religion, SNAP, subsidies, VISTA, VISTAs
Resources from the Food Justice for All Webinar Series
Thank you to all those attending this months Food Justice for All Webinar Series. There is one more webinar that will focus on SNAP/food stamp outreach and Summer Food Service Programs.
Below you can find resources, video, and answers to frequently asked questions from the Webinar series.
If your congregation or community group would like support in starting a food security or anti-hunger project, please feel free to call us at 502.569.5553, or write us at email@example.com
Presentations in the Food Justice for All Webinars:
Find Answers to Frequently Asked Questions here!
Partners and More Resources:
1) The updated Food Sovereignty for All Handbook: Overhauling the Food System with Faith-Based Initiatives is available free of charge! Download PDF of Food Sovereignty for All Handbook
Thanks to the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon for their work writing and publishing this valuable guide. This is a slightly updated version.
2) See also the US Dept. of Agriculture's Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships website for their helpful tools to start community gardens, summer feeding programs, and Food Stamp outreach projects.
3) Make a commitment to end hunger, obesity, and food insecurity by becoming a "Lets Move" congregation today!
If you remember back to the last farm bill reform activities, you may even remember Daryll Ray and his analysis around subsidies. Well, myths around subsidies being the root of all evil in the farming system persist even among groups such as Bread for the World. Granted the issue can seem complex and it's easier to mimic what others say (I certainly confess to this sin), but Professor Ray has done a great job of explaining the real story. Thanks to Presbyterian farmer and advisor, Brad Wilson, we have resources on this topic below at the tip of your fingers. Thank you Brad!
And if you wish to learn from and join with Presbyterians discussing (and acting on!) similar topics, such as how folks are overhauling the food system with local and regional faith-based initiatives, you are welcome to join the PCUSA Food and Faith Groupsite. Just sign up to join and you'll soon be part of this growing group of Awesome Agrarian Allies!
Daryll Ray of the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center at the University of Tennessee has written many excellent materials on the farm bill, price floors, (“price supports,”) farm subsidies, supply management, and related topics.
Ray’s best summary of the topic is probably the Executive Summary to his (et al) 2003 report: “ Rethinking US Agricultural Policy: Changing Course to Secure Farmer Livelihoods Worldwide.”
Ray has written nearly a dozen years worth of weekly policy columns on farm bill issues, (1-2 pages each) plus an “Archived Series” of earlier columns. I’ve selected and linked some of the key columns in two of my content boxes at zspace . Scroll down to “Farm Bill Primer” and also “Food Crisis Primer,” (which is also about the farm bill). Look for “APAC” in the links to find the materials from Daryll Ray. There are also many other excellent materials there, by the other leading farm bill justice advocates (ie. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Food and Water Watch, Tim Wise of the Global Development and Environment program at Tufts University). There is also a list of my blogs (“Most Recent Content,” etc.,) which specifically fill in some of the missing pieces, and address food movement issues.
Legislative proposals to address these concerns include the Food from Family Farms Act of the National Family Farm Coalition, (and see a series of 3 short videos of earlier proposals starting here,) the Harkin-Gephardt Farm Bill of the 1980s and 1990s, (see a 1980s video slide show here) and Daryll Ray’s proposal in the report cited above (p. 43+ of the report; Ray discusses price supports on pp. 16, 44, 46, etc. of the report, but not much in his columns).
Let us know what you think about any of this, for example, by commenting on this.
2011 National PEC Faith & Environment Conference
"God's Earth: Too Big to Fail? An Eco-Justice Conversation Among Faith, Science and Culture"
August 31 - September 3, 2011, at Highlands Presbyterian Camp and Retreat Center in the mountains of Colorado.
Keynote speakers include Dr. William Brown, author of The Seven Pillars of Creation: The Bible, Science and the Ecology of Wonder; Dr. Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, senior scientist and director of sustainable foods at the Pesticide Action Network; Carol Raffenspurger, Executive Director of the Science and Environmental Health Network; Dr. Hayes, Professor with expertise in amphibian biology at the University of California Berkley; Dr. Holmes Rolston III, environmental ethics scholar; Dr. John E. Ikerd, professor emeritus of agricultural economics at the University of Missouri Columbia.
Special thanks to our conference sponsors, including Environmental Ministries, the Presbytery of Olympia, the Presbytery of the Inland Northwest, Second Presbyterian of Little Rock, and Second Presbyterian Church Indianapolis.
Dr. William P. Brown, Professor
Conference Plenary Moderator and Worship Leader
Recent Work to be discussed at Conference:
Tevyn East of The Affording Hope Project
Conference Creative Artist
Will perform Leaps & Bounds
Dr. Tyrone B. Hayes, Professor
Conference Plenary Presenter
Click the above link to learn more about his interests, research, and publications
Dr. Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, Senior Scientist of PANNA
Conference Plenary Presenter
Paul Quinn College Turns Football Stadium into Farm Paul Quinn College (TX) recently planted the first seeds in a former football field that will now serve the college as a student-run, two-acre urban farm.
After grocers told the college's president that they didn't want to invest in the underserved Dallas neighborhood where the college is located, he contacted the Sustainable Food Project at Yale University (CT) for a crash course on organic agriculture and educational programs that emphasize the importance of local, healthy food. Part of the harvest will be sold to the company that runs concessions at Cowboys Stadium and the other will be donated nonprofit groups that feed the hungry. By fall the college plans to create a farmers market on its outdoor recreational basketball courts and eventually open its own grocery store.
University of Maryland Students Enlist Goats for Campus Weeding
Students at the University of Maryland have contracted goats to combat weeds in a proposed garden area near the School of Public Health. More than 30 goats grazed for three days, clearing the way for fruit and vegetable growing. Also aimed at bringing attention to the new garden, the $1,300 initiative was funded by an Office of Sustainability grant from mandatory student sustainability fees.
Extremely Short Deadline: Please APPLY BY THURSDAY, MAY 12
Anti-Hunger Americorp*VISTA Summer Associates
Full-time, June 8 - August 16 (10 weeks)
Summer Associates are part of a new national program to fight hunger. Help increase access by low-income families to healthy local food through farmers markets, community gardens and Fresh Stops. Expand outreach and education at Summer Food Service Program sites, organize gleaning activities, and link to urban agriculture and food justice efforts. Associates will work closely with the two year-long VISTAs.
* $2,145 living allowance, plus $1,174.60 Americorps Education Award or $288 stipend
Send brief cover letter and resume to andrew.kangbartlett (@ sign) pcusa (dot) org by 5:00 pm on Thursday, May 12. Must be available for interview (phone or in-person) on May 13 or the morning of May 16. Questions – call Andrew at (502) 569-5388.
Hosted by the Presbyterian Hunger Program, PCUSA, Louisville, KY
The “Land and Food Sovereignty” Study Session, sponsored by Agricultural Missions, Inc., is part of a National Rural Gathering on Land, Water, Energy and Food, together with the Rural Coalition and other allies.
Dates: June 22-26, 2011 (Wednesday through a Sunday morning departure) in Shawnee and Wewoka, Oklahoma
Host: Oklahoma Black Historical Research Project, Black Seminole Community of Wewoka
Goal: Combating Hunger through Land Access and Food Sovereignty
Lodging: There are four hotels (from $50 to $75 per night with two beds) all adjacent to the Shawnee venue where Study Session meetings and Ag Missions board meeting will be taking place.
Cost: Conference Fees: $250 per person to AMI, includes all meals and local transportation and conference meeting rooms, etc…, and also supports AMI partner participation. A $25 or $50 hotel room deposit is also requested on the attached form, plus the $20 shuttle fee to and from Shawnee (from Oklahoma City airport). To reserve hotel rooms, email or fax hotel registration form to the Rural Coalition, with a copy to Doris, as indicated on form.
If you wish to be considered for a conference scholarship (sliding scale) in conjunction with your own fund raising efforts, please fill out attached scholarship request form.
See also the downloadable Rural Coalition announcement brochure that includes the latest outline of the schedule of activities during the entire four day event.
All people have the right to decide what they eat and to ensure that food in their community is healthy and accessible for everyone. This is the basic principle behind food sovereignty. If you want to support domestic food security through the production of healthy food at a fair price, and you believe that family farmers and fishers should have the first right to local and regional markets, then food sovereignty is for you.
This excellent booklet is now available in Spanish (plus English and Portuguese!). Share it with your friends and family. Put it on your bulletin board at work. Read it to your children for a bedtime story...
Connecting food and faith . . .
What are the connections of food sovereignty to our faith values? To our commitment to end hunger? Read Turning the Tables: People First and The Daily Bread by two theologians from Brazil for their reflections on these questions.
Learn more about food sovereignty and consider organizational membership in the US Food Sovereignty Alliance. Congregations may join too!
Click here to go the USFSA website.
Calls for food justice and food sovereignty are echoing around world. From landless farmers in Brazil to seed savers in India, from urban farms in Oakland to affordable produce drop-offs in Cleveland, from agroecological farms around Lake Victoria in Kenya to farmer-owned cooperatives in Wisconsin, the sprouting of sustainable and just food systems is as sure as spring rains.
Hundreds of PCUSA congregations are joining the movement—opening their kitchens, digging food gardens, hosting farmers markets, and advocating forfair food policies.
Sixteen Food Justice Fellows, comprised of pastors, urban agriculturalists, grassroots advocates and students, have begun their work together and in their own communities. The Fellows will develop their own personal agrarian/food justice faith statements to more deeply ground their work. The idea came from participants of the HEART trip and the Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP) is hosting this national fellowship.
PHP is also hosting two Americorps*VISTAs who are supporting congregations in their efforts to bring food access to neglected parts of of our cities and states.
Interested people are invited to join the Fellows, VISTAs and other Presbyterians online on the Food and Faith Groupsite to share ideas about ways you and your congregation can address inequities in your local food economy and around the world. Congregations and faith-based groups are also invited to join the US Food Sovereignty Alliance. PHP is a founding member and has been active in its development. Learn more about the Alliance here.
Finally, for ideas and practical assistance, consider joining the Food Justice for All Webinars for free. Click on the webinar you wish to participate in to register.
Posted by Harvesting Justice - the blog of Farmworker Justice | 19 Apr 2011 08:42 AM PDT
Written by Jessica Felix-Romero ~ Original article from Harvesting Justice
The New York Times published an article on April 13th titled States Look to Ban Efforts to Reveal Farm Abuse in which reporter A.G. Sulzberger writes about pending legislation to criminalize taking or distributing photos or videos taken at agricultural facilities without the express permission of the facility management. The proposed law has a primary focus on stopping animal rights activists from exposing illegal or inhuman treatment of animals. However, this type of legislation has significant repercussions for farmworkers. Farmworker Justice invited attorney Melody Fowler-Green to blog on the potential impacts restricting video collection would have on farmworkers who are often working in isolated settings with limited ability to document violations of law or abuse that they experience.
Melody Fowler-Green is a Staff Attorney at Southern Migrant Legal Services, a Project of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and has been a farmworker advocate for over ten years. She found a natural home in the worker's rights community as the daughter of a union autoworker in Flint, Michigan.
The proposed laws to criminalize surreptitious videos taken at agricultural facilities may do more than thwart animal rights activists. (see NYT article above) Southern Migrant Legal Services filed a federal suit last week on behalf of 15 farmworkers which illustrates these laws may also prevent isolated and vulnerable workers from protecting themselves against illegal activity, including pesticide exposure.
In the decade that I have represented migrant agricultural workers, cell phone ownership among our clients has increased exponentially. Affordable phones purchased from big box stores have allowed migrant workers, some of them thousands of miles from home, to keep in touch with their families, to enjoy some entertainment in the evenings listening to familiar music, and are now proving invaluable to aid them in asserting their rights. Workers are using cameras on the phones to document their living and working conditions and then to contact advocates and attorneys when those conditions violate the law. This has surely not gone unnoticed by employers and farm labor contractors. In fact, many employers who employ temporary nonimmigrant guestworkers are adopting work rules (unfortunately approved by the United States Department of Labor) that make use of cell phones or electronic devises during work hours a firing offense.
Last summer guestworkers at a large tomato farm in East Tennessee used their cell phones to record what they believed to by the misuse of pesticides. These workers contacted us here at Southern Migrant Legal Services complaining that tractors were spraying tomato plants just yards from their housing, on fields next to them when they were eating lunch, and directly on other workers who were in the fields. While these potentially illegal activities were taking place miles from a town or other witnesses, our clients were able to capture some of the incidents on their cell phone video cameras – providing advocates with a rare look at working conditions for farmworkers and turning these otherwise isolated workers into whistleblowers. For this, these workers were brutally fired, leading to the lawsuit they filed last week in federal court.
I applaud the bravery these farmworkers have shown in documenting their treatment and in standing up against the retaliation they faced by doing so. I fear that laws intended to prevent animal rights activists from filming the inhumane treatment of animals will also take away from farmworkers one of the few ways they can fight against inhumane treatment they themselves suffer.
Carlitos, child of farmworkers, born with birth defects attributable to pesticides (PBP).
Source: Sarasota/Manatee Farmworker Supporters