Jenny’s Food & Ag Update March 23, 2017


  • ‘Come West, California is Hiring’: State Recruits EPA Climate Scientists (KQED)
  • Frederick Douglass On How Slave Owners Used Food As A Weapon Of Control (NPR)


Farmers, Farming, Ranching, Herding & Production

  • Can Rodale Create a Unified Voice for Organic Farmers in Washington? (Civil Eats)                                      The Organic Farmers Association hope to give farmers a place at the table on federal food policy.
  • The Hows and Whys of Hops (Seattle Times)                                                                                        You’re going to drink it. You may as well know something about it.
  • Here Are the Three Main Challenges Facing US Agriculture Over the Next 50 Years (AlterNet)
  • Many shades of gray – The context-dependent performance of organic agriculture (Science Advances)
  • This Is the Future of Farming (AlterNet)        This is what cutting-edge looks like: The ‘world’s first post-organic produce’ grows at this vertical farm.
  • Texans Receive First Notices of Land Condemnation for Trump’s Border Wall (Texas Observer)
  • The reindeer herder struggling to take on oil excavators in Siberia (The Guardian)
  • Who Grows Food For Blue Apron? Their Resident Agroecologist, Alison Grantham, Explains (modern farmer)
    • A pioneer of humanely raised meat is betting the farm on Blue Apron (Washington Post)


Food and Culture

  • Baba’s Home Style Perogies May Be The World’s Only Drive-Thru Perogy Joint (Huffington Post Canada)
  • For Afghan Immigrants, Nowruz Celebrations Of Spring Are A Taste Of Home (NPR)



Hunger, Food Access & Security, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • World faces worst humanitarian crisis since 1945, says UN official (The Guardian)                                 Twenty million people face starvation without an immediate injection of funds in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria, warns Stephen O’Brien
  • World Food Program says ‘race against time’ under way to prevent Yemen famine (Reuters)
  • #LetThemDie: ‘Heartless’ Donald Trump Blasted For Killing Meals On Wheels Funds (Huffington Post)
  • National Survey Shows High Rates Of Hungry And Homeless Community College Students (NPR)
    • Striking Number of College Students Are Hungry and Homeless (The Atlantic)                         A new report says two-thirds of community-college students don’t have enough to eat, and 14 percent are homeless.


Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • A New Supermarket Lets You Pay What You Want for Less Than Perfect Food (modern farmer)                           A new supermarket in Germany only sells food that would be tossed out by most grocery stores. While they aren’t the first store to sell would-be-garbage goods, they are the first to be a ‘pay what you want’ establishment.


Healthy/Safe Food

  • Sell By, Use By, Best Before – Ugh. New Initiative Tries To Reduce Label Confusion (modern farmer)            There actually are no rules on the books for expiration dates. In fact, the only food that is required to have one is infant formula.


Children & School Food

  • High School Students Start Club To Make Sure No One Sits Alone At Lunch (Huffington Post)
  • (Australian) School ditches traditional met pies and sausage rolls to employ sous chef who trained at a hatted restaurant – but would your kids eat fom the menu? (Daily Mail)
  • ‘Outrageous’: expert slams White House for denying school meals’ link to learning (The Guardian)



  • Wages rise on California farms. Americans still don’t want the job (LA Times)                                                              Trump’s immigration crackdown is supposed to help US citizens. For California farmers, it’s worsening a desperate labor shortage.
  • On Michigan farms and in restaurants, who will fill jobs? (Crain’s Detroit Business)
  • Waiter fired after asking Latinas for ‘proof of residency’ at upscale Huntington Beach eatery (LA Times)
  • Trump’s Plan to Make America Great Again Using Cheap Foreign Labor (Mother Jones)                                          The H-2 visa program leaves workers open to exploitation.
  • A court’s decision in a Maine labor dispute hinged on the absence of an Oxford comma (Quartz)
  • Teamsters Maintain Lyft Driers Should Be Classified As Employees (Teamsters)                                    First it was FedEx that lost when they claimed their drivers were contractors, California’s courts determined the same thing for Uber in 2005, now Lyft.



  • It Takes Something Seismic to Get This Group Protesting (Esquire)                                                                      The Mennonites are out in the street.
  • Big Strike Brewing Against Trump: Coalition of More Than 300,000 Food Workers to Join May Day Showdown (AlterNet)


Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • Big Chicken Goes Antibiotic-Free (modern farmer)                                                                                          Giants in the poultry industry are mobbing away from the use of antibiotics in a big way. Perdue stopped using antibiotics last year and now Tyson, the largest chicken processor in the US, has pushed up its plans to stop using the drugs by June.
  • Burger King Vows To Stop Buying Chickens From Animal Abusers (Huffington Post) burger chain gave itself seven years to meet standards for humanely raised birds.
  • Pepsi, McDonalds, Nestle, Other Major Brands Implicated in Illegal Destruction of Critical Elephant Habitat (AlterNet)
  • Honey Nut Cheerios Pulled Its Bee Mascot Because Bees Are Disappearing (Huffington Post)
  • House of hemp: Growers call for a processing plant in WA to supply building industry (ABC News Australia)
  • Seven Oil Multinationals That Are Pulling Out of Canada’s Tar Sands (environmental defence)
  • None of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use (grist)              I remember posting this in 2013 when it was first published… It is more applicable today.


Food Scandals, Fraud, Weird

  • This former official dodged jail time in the Flint water crisis, just has to write an apology letter (grist)
  • ‘100 Percent Orange Juice’ Probably Isn’t As Natural As You Think (Huffington Post)
  • Terrifying ‘My Little Pony’ Sting Cheese Is Pink, Tastes Like Strawberries (Huffington Post)


Water & Our Oceans

  • Trump Said He’d Fix Flint. Hobbling The EPA Is An Odd Way To Do That. (Huffington Post)                              The agency enforces regulations that are supposed to prevent lead from poisoning people’s water.
  • Updated: Can This Genius Strategy Stop Big Ag from Dumping Fertilizer Into Drinking Water? (Mother Jones)
  • Using Nonnative Oyster (shells) to Help Restore Native Oysters in the Puget Sound (Earth Island Journal)
  • Proposed Federal Budget Would Slash Puget Sound’s EPA Funding by 93 Percent (Seattle Weekly)


Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • Aid in reverse: how poor countries develop rich countries (The Guardian)                                                                        Yes indeed, if you look at USAID, we are not giving of the good of our hearts. We created USAID to open new markets. Case in point; food aid to Afghanistan has included a great deal of rice. Because Afghanistan is an arid or semiarid country all their rice production is dry land rice, which has lower yields than patty rice. Therefore, rice is a product that is consumed by the wealthy. When USAID and countries like Thailand donated rice, they were donating the equivalent of caviar to those starving in Afghanistan, creating new markets for the worlds subsidized rice…
  • No African citizens granted visas for African trade summit in California (The Guardian)                                  Every single African citizen who requested a visa was rejected, according to the organizer of the African Global Economic Development Summit
  • Mexico canceled sugar export permits to the US because it couldn’t find anyone to negotiate with (Business Insider)
  • Donald Trump Has A Weird Way Of Showing How Much He Loves Farmers (Huffington Post)        Trump wants to “honor” farmers, but his policies could put their livelihoods at risk and their health care on the chopping block.
  • The Cuts in Trump’s Budget You Haven’t Heard About (Yes!)                                                                                        Whole national outrage is focused on Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts, tiny agencies helping communities that teeter on the edge of poverty would also disappear.
  • Trump budget director: Feeding elderly and children has to end, it’s not ‘showing any results’ (Daily Kos)
    • Meals on Wheels only isn’t ‘showing any results if you ignore these results (SF Chronicle)
    • White House Says Cutting Meals on Wheels Is ‘Compassionate’ (New York Magazine)
    • How much does Trump want to screw over those in need? His budget eliminates Meals on Wheels (Daily Kos)
    • Trump’s Budget Would Kill a Program That Feeds 2.4 Million Senior Citizens (Time)
    • Trump, Ryan budget will kill more Americans per year than all Muslim extremist attacks combined (Daily Kos)
    • People are furious that Trump’s new budget cuts funding to Meals on Wheels (SF Chronicle)
  • No, Feeding Hungry Kids and Seniors Isn’t a Waste of Money (Mother Jones)                                                        Next up: puppy kicking?
  • Meals on Wheels is not showing any results’ only if you ignore all these results (The Washington Post)
  • Meals on Wheels sees donation surge after Trump proposes funding cuts (Washington Post)
  • Donald Trump’s Agriculture Pick Has Some Serious Ethics Issues, Too (Huffington Post)
  • Report: Trump budget will slash the EPA, State Department, Amtrak, Meals on Wheels Grants (Vox)
  • Trump’s Plan to Slash Weather Forecast Funding Is Terrible News for Farms (Mother Jones)
  • Congress Approves of Drug Test Measure that ‘Vilifies Unemployed Workers’ (The District Sentinel)
  • EPA Official Accused of Helping Monsanto ‘Kill’ Cancer Study (Boomberg)
    • Monsanto Weed Killer Deserves Deeper Scrutiny As Scientific Manipulation Revealed (Huffington Post)
    • Monsanto Weed Killer Roundup Faces New Doubts on Safety in Unsealed Documents (NYT)
    • Has Monsanto Orchestrated a Massive Cancer Cover-up? Unsealed Court Case Documents Point to a Scandal (AlterNet)
    • Judge Threatens to Sanction Monsanto Secrecy in Roundup Cancer Litigation (Huffington Post)
  • California judge rules against Monsanto, allows cancer warning on Roundup (Nation of Change)
  • Un-Sweetened: How A Maryland County Cut Soda Sales Without A Soda Tax (NPR)
  • Arkansas “Ag-Gag” Legislation Could Be Bad News for All Whistleblower (modern farmer)
  • Path to the 2018 Farm Bill: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition)


GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology



  • UN experts denounce ‘myth’ pesticides are necessary to feed the world (The Guardian)
  • Monsanto Isn’t Feeding the World – It’s Killing Our Children (AlterNet)                                                                 Two new reports issue scathing indictment of US and global regulatory systems in collusion with chemical companies.
  • WHO Report: The cost of a polluted environment: 1.7 million child deaths a year (WHO)
  • UN Human Rights Council: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, 27, Feb. – 24, March 2017 (UN General Assembly)
  • Strawberries, Spinach Top Dirty Dozen List of Produce Containing Pesticides (Earth Island Journal)                                                                                        Report finds pesticide residues often remain on fruits and vegetables even after they are washed
  • Trying To Avoid Pesticides In Your Food? Maybe Don’t Buy Those Strawberries (modern farmer)
  • Public Interest Groups, Farmers File Lawsuit Challenging Monsanto’s Toxic Pesticides (Center For Food Safety)
  • Dozens of California Towns Have Childhood Lead Poisoning Rates Higher Than Flint’s (Huffington Post)





  • Radioactive Boars Rule Abandoned Japanese Towns In Wake of Fukushima Disaster (Huffington Post)
  • Cockfighters Defy the Law – and on National Television No Less (AlterNet)                                                                      The fact that this brutal practice continues – despite being illegal in all 50states – left HBO host Bryant Gumble dumbfounded.
  • Jim Hightower: 2016 Was a Disaster for America’s Democracy, But a Good Year for Egg-Laying Hens (AlterNet)                                                                                              Before Trump took power, 2016 was a good year for protecting chickens.
  • US Activist’s Efforts to Rescue Dogs from Asia’s Meat Trade Draw Both Praise and Censure (Earth Island Journal)



  • Webinar Series: Farmers Markets First!                                                       How to Keep Farmers Markets at the Top of the Local Food Chain

Webinar: See and Be Scene: How to Create Community Around Local Food

Over 1,000 market managers were surveyed by the USDA in 2016 and 64% reported that hosting community events boosted the amount of customers coming to the market. Get ideas for affordable, easy-to-launch community events and activities that attract shoppers – and keep them coming back.

WHEN: March 29, 12:00-1:00pm Presentation, 1:00-1:30pm Q&A

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Farmers Market Managers


FMM Pro graduates, you can earn 1 continuing education credit by participating in both webinars!


Laura Biasillo                                                                                                     Agricultural Economic Development Specialist                                     Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County                                     (607) 584-5007 – Phone                                                                                                                   Find us on Facebook

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.
Please contact the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County office if you have any special needs.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County is supported by public and private funding. Primary cooperating partners are the County of Broome, the State of New York and SUNY’s Land Grant Colleges at Cornell University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


  • Plant Propagation & Seed Starting Workshop                   WRENTHAM- The Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP) is pleased to announce their first workshop of the season! Learn how to start the season for your farm or garden the right way. We’ll be visiting White Barn Farm,  a small vegetable farm located in Wrentham, Mass. The husband-wife farmer team, Chris and Christy Kantlehner, use organic practices to supply a CSA, farmstand, and restaurant accounts with fresh produce.  White Barn also has a huge plant sale the weekend before Memorial Day every year. Growing seedlings for that very financially significant sale is a major part of early season farmwork at White Barn Farm. After the plant sale, many of the crops grown for sale are produced by transplant – either with a water wheel transplanter or a paper pot transplanter. We’ll see these tools and learn how they are used. Christy will share her experience and the methods currently used in her greenhouse.                                                                                                                         When: Saturday, March 25, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM                       Where: White Barn Farm,  458 South St, Wrentham, MA

Cost:  $5 Beginning Farmers, $15 SEMAP Members, $20                           General Public

Register online at




  • Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development                                                          Open call for papers