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 Stench of Hog Waste and Environmental Racism

September 22nd, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: Industrial farms, in this case the hog lobby, have managed to deregulate their industry since the 1990s. Enormous hog CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) spray noxious waste held in “lagoons” on neighboring fields, making local people sick. Research shows that African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are significantly more likely than white residents to live within three miles of industrial hog operations.

A million tons of feces and an unbearable stench: life near industrial pig farms
The Guardian
by Erica Hellerstein and Ken Fine

North Carolina’s hog industry has been the subject of litigation, investigation, legislation and regulation. But are its health and environmental risks finally getting too much?

Hog Lagoon
Source: Steve

Rene Miller pokes a lavender-frocked leg out of her front door and grimaces. It’s a bright April afternoon, and the 66-year-old Miller, with a stoic expression and a dark crop of curls, braces herself for the walk ahead.

Her destination isn’t far away – just a half-mile down a narrow country road, flanked by sprawling green meadows, modest homes and agricultural operations – but the journey takes a toll. Because as she ambles down the two-lane street, stepping over pebbles and sprouts of grass, the stench takes hold, an odor so noxious that it makes your eyes burn and your nose run. Miller likens it to “death” or “decomposition” to being surrounded by spoiled meat. Read Full Article »

Help for Farmers with the Federal Tax Deduction for Food Donation

September 22nd, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: Farmers with extra food after the harvest often donate to charitable organizations like Second Harvest and local food pantries, making the farms eligible for the Enhanced Federal Tax Deduction. The Natural Resources Defense Council has created a PDF containing helpful information for donating farmers, and we have shared it below.


Source: SEMA FoodSecurity

In December 2015, U.S. Congress passed legislation to permanently extend an enhanced deduction for tax-paying businesses that donate food to a food bank or other charitable organization. Prior to the change, only C corporations could claim a deduction; now, all for-profit farms can benefit.

Sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, andlimited liability companies (LLCs) can all benefit. If your
farm donates food to a charitable organization (or donated food after 2014) and expects to owe taxes in the following
five years, you can potentially claim a deduction. To claim a deduction, your farm business must generate taxable
income, and you must retain a donation record from the charitable organization. Read Full Article »

Fall Gardening Reminders You Almost Certainly Need

September 21st, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: As garden harvests come in, few of us are thinking about weeding. But a few minutes spent pulling those invasive plants with ripening seeds can save hours next spring.

8 Gardening Mistakes You Make Every Fall
Rodale’s Organic Life
by Rebecca Straus

These autumn errors set you up for extra work come spring.

Source: Renny67

Fall is probably the time of year when your garden begins to get away from you. You get lax about weeding and procrastinate cleanup as long as possible—sometimes until spring (guilty).

(Whether you’re starting your first garden or switching to organic, Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening has all the answers and advice you need—get your copy today!)

But staying on top of things will make your job so much easier next season, and it can actually improve the health of your garden. Here are some common errors pro gardeners see people making in the fall and their advice for having the best autumn garden ever. Read Full Article »

Sugar Maples, a Proverbial Canary in the Changing Climate

September 21st, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: As our climate changes, many species are disappearing from their native habitat, and sugar maples are one that is in danger. Sap farmers are tapping other trees for syrup now, including the more hardy red maple. Many people are planning adaptations to the changing climate, and more study and discussion on the subject is needed.

Saving Sap
by Real Food Media

Saving Sap | 2016 Real Food Films Winner from Real Food Media on Vimeo.

A story of how climate change touches food, Saving Sap tells the tale of maple syrup tapping in New England and efforts to adapt to a warming world. Read Full Article »

World Ark Interview with ‘Cows Save the Planet’ Author

September 20th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: Judith Schwartz’s book, Cows Save the Planet, and Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth, is based on real-life solutions to loss of top soil and desertification. She champions holistic management and describes a method of livestock management that actually helps build top soil in the interview below.

Asked & Answered: Repairing the Earth
World Ark Magazine
Interview, photos and video by Erik Hoffner, World Ark contributor

Think for a moment about the pressing challenges the world faces: poverty, hunger, political instability, war and climate change. Loss of topsoil is seldom included in that list, even though it plays a lead role in all of them. Some experts estimate that this thin life-giving layer of the planet is in danger of disappearing within 60 years due to erosion and desertification, and with it, our ability to grow food. Statistics like this drove author Judith Schwartz to write Cows Save the Planet, and Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth.

Judith Schwartz from Heifer International on Vimeo. Read Full Article »

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