The Cornucopia Institute

The Cornucopia Institute, through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, provides needed information to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement and to the media. We support economic justice for the family-scale farming community – partnered with consumers – backing ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.

The Beauty of Compost

May 15th, 2015

Rodale News
by Matthew Benson

Source: Joy Ito

Healthy dirt forms the building blocks of a beautiful garden.

The garden soil you begin with will most likely need to be amended before you plant out your precious seedlings. Even if your future garden site supports a lawn, it may not have the nutritional strength necessary for fruiting plants and hungry vegetable crops. If you’ve had your soil tested, you know what to add and—hopefully—when to add it for the best results. But if you’re flying without a net, as gardeners often do, you really can’t go wrong by applying compost.

Incorporating ½ to 1 inch of compost into the soil each growing season is a reasonably sound soil-care program that will add modest amounts of nutrients along with organic matter to support both good drainage and moisture retention. Read Full Article »

Meet Will Allen, The Urban Farmer Starting His Own Revolution

May 15th, 2015

Huffington Post


When you think of farming towns, Milwaukee-proper might not be the first to come to mind. The large Wisconsin city is perhaps better known for its famed breweries and picturesque location along Lake Michigan, but one resident there has been on a mission to make farming more accessible even within the city limits.

Will Allen is a former professional athlete who played basketball throughout college at the University of Miami and post-college in Belgium. Though he has also held jobs in corporate America, Allen has spent the last 21 years in a completely different profession: urban farmer.

As the founder of Growing Power, Allen oversees his urban farms and teaches people in urban Milwaukee how to grow not just food, but good food. Read Full Article »

Cornucopia Is Hiring!

May 14th, 2015

CI_HiringCommsAndDevAssistant_1The Communications and Development Assistant will assist with Cornucopia’s many communications (reports, newsletters, infographics, etc.) as well as the organization’s revenue development efforts (grants, fundraising mailings, occasional fundraising events, etc.). Reporting directly to the Communications and Development Director, this is an early-career position that offers great opportunity for advancement. A heartfelt passion for protecting the environment, the good food movement, human health, humane livestock husbandry, and social/economic justice for family farmers is essential.

Cornucopia is formally based in Cornucopia, Wisconsin, but staff members are “virtually officed” in home offices around the country. Because of this, applicants must be highly motivated and able to work independently.

View the job description and application instructions at Read Full Article »

NFU Voices Concerns with Petition for Organic Checkoff

May 14th, 2015

National Farmers Union
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

NFUlogoWASHINGTON (May 13, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today voiced concerns over a recent petition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to begin the process of setting up a checkoff program for the organic industry under the 1996 Generic Act, citing issues with the proposed amount of money appropriated to agricultural research, composition of the board, and administrative cap.

“The 1996 Generic Act was created to benefit small producers who lack the resources to market their products individually,” said Johnson. “NFU believes the petition does not adequately represent producers on the board, does not appropriate enough money to agricultural research, and provides for too high of an administrative cap.”

Johnson pointed out that the proposed composition of the organic checkoff board allows for a processor majority, a disproportionate representation of the organic industry. Read Full Article »

A Game of Chicken

May 13th, 2015

by Lynne Terry

USDA repeatedly blinked when facing salmonella outbreaks involving Foster Farms

Over the course of a decade, hundreds of people from Eugene to Baker City to Portland and Seattle were struck by bouts of food poisoning so severe they fled to their doctors or emergency rooms for treatment.

They had no idea what made them sick. But federal regulators did.

Oregon and Washington public health officials repeatedly told the U.S. Department of Agriculture they had linked salmonella outbreaks in 2004, 2009 and 2012 to Foster Farms chicken.

State officials pushed federal regulators to act, but salmonella-tainted chicken flowed into grocery stores, first in the Northwest, then across the country. Oregon investigators became so familiar with the culprit they gave it a name: the Foster Farms strain.

The outbreaks tied by state health officials to Foster Farms first occurred in Oregon and Washington. Then in 2012, illnesses spread to almost a dozen states. The next year, a new outbreak emerged that sickened more than 600 people across the country.

Much has been written about that last 16-month ordeal and the USDA’s slow response. But the way the federal agency handled it was not an isolated case, an investigation by The Oregonian/OregonLive has found.

Time after time dating to 2004, Oregon and Washington officials alerted the USDA’s food safety agency about salmonella illnesses, but the federal government chose not to warn the public or ask Foster Farms for a recall.

With no reason to worry, people kept eating contaminated chicken. Read Full Article »

The Cornucopia Institute
P.O. Box 126 Cornucopia, Wisconsin 54827
Ph: 608-625-2000