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.
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
by Adrian White
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 »
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
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 »
May 19th, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: Rep. Pingree, a Maine Democrat and organic farmer, has introduced legislation along with some of her colleagues seeking increased funding for research on organic issues. Nearly all in the organic community are in agreement that the USDA needs to support more organic research.
Congresswoman Pingree leads bipartisan bill to support continued growth in organic agriculture industry
Rep. Chellie Pingree
Reps. Pingree, Newhouse, and Panetta introduce legislation to increase funding for USDA’s flagship organic research program
|Rep. Chellie Pingree
[On May 16] Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) will introduced the Organic Agriculture Research Act to support the continued growth of the nation’s booming organic agriculture industry.
The legislation increases funding for USDA’s flagship organic research program, the Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), from $20 million to $50 million annually. The program funds applied research projects across the country that help organic farmers improve their operations and meet the growing consumer demand for organic food.
Statements of support | Fact sheet Read Full Article »
May 19th, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: As more farmers develop cancer after years of handling Roundup, their stories are being heard. Monsanto maintains the safety of its products, citing a lack of research showing health risks, even in the face of empirical evidence.
Ties between Monsanto and EPA raise questions about safety and regulation
by Karen Foshay
RoundUp is the most popular weed killer in the world and one of the most controversial. Millions of gallons of it are sprayed on playgrounds, farms and backyards all over California. But does it cause cancer?
Since it hit shelves in 1970, at least 700 individuals have filed lawsuits alleging the herbicide caused non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. The litigation has produced over a million pages of internal documents and provided a glimpse into Monsanto’s strategy to defend RoundUp and keep it on the market. Read Full Article »
May 18th, 2017
Cornucopia’s Take: North Carolina’s legislature has put its weight behind industrial hog farming, limiting the amount of money people can collect in lawsuits against hog farms over quality-of-life issues caused by pollution from their operations. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the law that provided protections to the offending polluters, but his veto was overridden by the North Carolina House and Senate along party lines.
NC hog farms win legal protections; Senate overrides Cooper’s veto
The News & Observer
by John Murawski
North Carolina’s hog farms won an extra measure of protection from lawsuits Thursday, after the state Senate overrode a veto by Gov. Roy Cooper, who had sought to preserve the right of property owners to sue farmers over quality-of-life issues.
The state Senate narrowly defeated Cooper’s veto, a day after the House took the same step. The Senate vote was 30 to 18, mostly along party lines, in a procedure that requires support from three-fifths of lawmakers present. The vote was similar Wednesday in the House, with 74 voting to override the governor’s veto, and 40 voting to support the governor.
The new law limits the amount of money people can collect in lawsuits against hog farms for odors, headaches, flies and other aggravations. Critics have said the law limits financial recovery to the point that such lawsuits are not likely to be filed in the future. Read Full Article »