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.

Action Alert: Tell USDA to Protect Organic Animal Welfare

May 25th, 2017

Don’t Let Politicians and Factory Livestock Interests Undermine the Public Partnership that Has Been the Hallmark of Organic Rulemaking

Incremental Improvements in Organic Livestock Regulations Need to Go into Effect

The USDA is requesting your input at this critical juncture to determine whether the organic livestock rule should be scrapped or become effective as planned. Help us protect the integrity of the public organic rulemaking process by making these rules effective now.

The new Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule should have been effective on March 20, but it has been delayed by the Trump administration until at least November 14. The USDA is now asking the public to revisit the already approved rule to decide whether it should become effective, be tabled, or be discarded altogether. Congress has, inappropriately, threatened to intervene as well.

The pending rule requires at least a small amount of outdoor access for poultry and improves some management practices for other types of livestock. It is essential that the practice of allowing “porches” to qualify as outdoor access for organic laying hens be ended – and this rule would be a strong step in the right direction. Read Full Article »

Co-op Members and Their Farmers Resist Questionable Raw Milk Laws

May 24th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: Cornucopia believes everyone should have the choice to eat the diet that they believe provides them the healthiest and most nutritious food.  And we believe that the family farmers who produce it deserve to be fairly compensated. We defend the rights of dairy farmers to produce and market raw dairy products and the rights of consumers to make informed purchasing decisions in the marketplace.

The Raw Story: Canadian Farmer Fights For Raw Milk
Modern Farmer
by Andrew Amelinckx

Source: Susy Morris

Michael Schmidt has been fighting for a long time, nearly 25 years, in fact. He’s been in and out of court in the Canadian province of Ontario, which he calls home, and has been at the receiving end of more than one law enforcement raid, the last one being on Oct. 2, 2015. His crime? Distribution…of milk. Raw or unpasteurized milk, to be exact.

Schmidt’s a dairy farmer and raw milk advocate whose Glencolton Farms, in Durham, Ontario, is the home of a 200-member co-op called “Our Farms, Our Foods” that produces raw milk and raw-milk cheeses. It’s kind of an unusual set up as co-ops go, but then again it has to be since it’s illegal to sell raw milk in Canada—though you are allowed to drink raw milk from your own cows. That’s why Our Farms, Our Foods is set up as a farm-share, in which members hold joint-ownership so they can have access to raw milk.

According to Schmidt, this is a totally legal set-up, an opinion that’s not shared by the provincial government. Read Full Article »

Conventional Almond Growers May Be Killing Their Own Bees

May 24th, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: Fungicides sprayed in conventional almond orchards have been found to kill bees that pollinate the trees. Organic almond growers use practices to minimize pests and, when necessary, natural fungicides which are safer for non-target insects.

Almond-crop fungicides are harmful to honey bees
by Brooks Hays

Exposed honey bees were two to three times more likely to die during the 10 days after the fungicide application.

Source: Art Siegel

Almond growers face a dilemma. They need to keep their almond trees fungus free, but new research shows almond-crop fungicides harm honey bees, the nut tree’s chief pollinator.

Lab tests at Texas A&M University show the fungicide iprodione significantly diminishes the survivability rate of western honey bees, Apis mellifera, the world’s most common honey bee species.

“Given that these fungicides may be applied when honey bees are present in almond orchards, our findings suggest that bees may face significant danger from chemical applications even when responsibly applied,” Dr. Juliana Rangel, assistant professor of apiculture in Texas A&M’s entomology department, said in a news release. Read Full Article »

NGOs Help Farmers Buy Land and Get Farming

May 23rd, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: As farmland grows in price, young farmers must be creative and thorough in finding help to get started. Fortunately, there are a few excellent resources available.

Young midwestern farmers want to grow sustainable food – but they need help
The Guardian
by Adrian White

Source: Trent .

Midwestern states are the second leading producers of crops and livestock behind California. But young farmers are leaving, put off by high land prices and startup costs

On a recent chilly afternoon, Natasha Hegmann, 28, and her husband, Pete Kerns, 27, tended the fire of a giant copper boiler holding some 250 gallons of maple sap. The sap had flowed into the boiler overnight through a series of pipes from nearby trees. Turning the gooey sap into syrup will take days.

A native Iowan, Hegmann worked at a number of local community farms before her and Kerns set up their own, Turkey River Farms, in 2015 to grow vegetables in warmer months and harvest maple sap during the winter. The couple thought about farming in other states but ultimately decided to stay in Iowa because of the support given by Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI), a 32-year-old nonprofit that aims to attract new and young farmers to the field and teach them to grow food organically. The group offers workshops and a program that gives funds to match the money saved by new farmers over a period of time. Read Full Article »

Conventional Brazilian Beef Continues to Destroy Rainforest

May 23rd, 2017

Cornucopia’s Take: If you need another reason to resist cheap beef, read the article below. We truly do get what we pay for in food. Cornucopia supports farmers of 100% grass-fed beef, with organic and local leading the way.

Brazil’s JBS accused of violating Amazon rainforest protection laws
by Anthony Boadle

Source: CIFOR

The world’s largest meatpacker, Brazil’s JBS SA, has for years knowingly bought cattle that were raised on illegally deforested land, turning a blind eye to regulations meant to protect the Amazon rainforest, Brazil’s environmental regulator has alleged.

The accusation comes even as JBS and other meatpackers in Brazil, the top global exporter of beef, are reeling from a corruption scandal. Police allege bribery of health inspectors to overlook unsanitary conditions and forgo inspections. JBS has denied wrongdoing and sought to assure consumers that its products meet rigorous quality standards. Read Full Article »

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