August 15th, 2012 - Jill Ettinger
Short of any government sanctioned rain dances, efforts are underway to address the nation’s severe drought epidemic with the announcement earlier this week from the Obama administration that the government will buy $170 million worth of meat, poultry and fish to help support the nation’s struggling farmers.
Read More:USDA Offers More Drought Relief for U.S. Farmers
March 12th, 2009 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
With the election of Barack Obama, America’s new buzzwords are “hope” and “change” and it’s catching on. It’s out with the old way of thinking and in with the new.
Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has heard the message loud and clear. Here’s been on a tear lately, spearheading reforms in America’s farming.
A staunch supporter of local farming and farmer’s right, Vilsack is sending a message to the “business as usual” crowd, times are changing. The Rodale Institute bullet his recent maneuvers:
- February 5: Wants to expand farmers’ opportunities in energy and organic and whole foods.
- February 21: Addresses 300 farmers and agriculture professionals outside Washington, sending a message that USDA is serious about civil rights issues.
- February 25: Vilsack scorns wealthy agri-business powers, like corn and wheat, by not attending the 2009 Commodity Classic in Texas.
- February 26: Cuts U.S. farm commodity payments directed at farmers and ranchers with large incomes and big sales.
In an era of big business, big spending and big lobbying, it’s encouraging to see someone looking to change all that. Too often the little guy, or little farmer, gets lost in the fray.
You can go organic and local all by yourself, join a Community Supported Agriculture.
Read More:U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Going for Positive Change
January 5th, 2009 - Leslie Billera
Barack Obama’s pick for the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, worked on cleaning up New Jersey, one of the most polluted states in the nation, from Feb ’06 to Dec ’08 as the state’s head of Environmental Protection.
But is she ready to go the distance nationally? The super-smart folks at Grist delve into her record in NJ for a rundown of successes and failures during her tenure.
Nutshell: feedback from those who worked with Jackson at the state level on energy and climate policy are favorable. The people who worked in the trenches of toxic clean-ups on the local level? Not so much…
See both sides here.
Read More:Pros and Cons of Lisa Jackson, New EPA Nominee