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Politics and Gardening

January 14th, 2009

sayno1401Like many Americans I’ve been closely watching Obama’s cabinet appointments. I was hoping that CHANGE would be coming, but it looks like it’s politics as usual at the Office of the President Elect. I’m particularly disappointed in his appointment of Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. Here’s a quote from the Organic Consumer’s Association about Tom Vilsack:

While Vilsack has promoted respectable policies with respect to restraining livestock monopolies, his overall record is one of aiding and abetting Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) or factory farms and promoting genetically engineered crops and animal cloning. Equally troubling is Vilsack’s support for unsustainable industrial ethanol production, which has already caused global corn and grain prices to skyrocket, literally taking food off the table for a billion people in the developing world.

If you are also disappointed by the appointment of Tom Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculture, head on over to Organic Consumer’s Association and sign the petition to oppose it. OCA is hoping to get over 100,000 people to sign this petition.

If you would like a more sustaineable candidate sign this petition to draft Jim Riddle (a long-time advocate of sustaineable and organic agriculture) in his place.

Despite a deluge of over 100,000 emails and petition signatures from organic consumers and farmers objecting to the appointment of biotech and biofuels booster Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture, the Senate is scheduled to begin confirmation hearings for Vilsack today.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is disappointed in this controversial appointment, and we are calling on our national network and allies to pressure Obama to move beyond “agribusiness as usual” by drafting Jim Riddle to head the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the department that oversees organic food, farming, and standards. Riddle is an organic farmer from Minnesota, former Chair of the National Organic Standards Board, and a longtime advocate for sustainable and organic farming. With Riddle heading up the AMS, farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture, transition to organic programs, and the National Organic Program will finally receive the attention, technical assistance, and funding they deserve.

If you would like to give input on many of Obama’s cabinet members visit this page at the Organic Consumers Association website for more details.


Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now. But this appointment really concerns me, does it concern anyone else?

Here’s a very interesting article over at Civil Eats about this.

6 Comments to “Politics and Gardening”
  1. Stephany on January 14, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Hey, he used to be my governor, the rest of you can put up with him for awhile.

    It is hard to understand the crazy that is the ethanol following in this state. My friend works for the Sierra Club and even he was afraid to go toe-to-toe with them.

    I once made a comment about the unsustainable nature of ethanol at a public forum after a viewing of An Inconvenient Truth. A bunch of the ethanol good ole boys were there and I am not joking when I say I was fearful to walk to my car in the dark. They are a scary bunch, probably all rich now, too.

    Reply to Stephany's comment

  2. Missy on January 15, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I work at a university in northeast Ohio and two years ago one of our freshman students was tasked with writing a paper on the sustainability of ethanol production for a 100/freshman level science class. After ONE WEEK of research she came into our office with her findings—ethanol production was utterly unsustainable and reeked havoc on the environment/topsoil. Now if a freshman in college can research a paper for one week and come to this conclusion—why can’t congress or the president for that matter???

    Reply to Missy's comment

  3. Susy on January 15, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    I know what you mean Stephany, politics is all about paying back your friends for favors (of course I’m kind of a conspiracy theorist). But corporate control of government is kind of scary thing!

    Reply to Susy's comment

  4. deborah on January 17, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Yes! I too am deeply disappointed in this pick and have long ago signed both petitions. How utterly upsetting!

    On another note, I want to say how much I love you blog. I’ve been visiting for a while, but this is my first comment. Thanks!

    Reply to deborah's comment

  5. Chicago Mike on January 18, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Hey Suzy,

    Vilsack is a shoe in.

    I wonder if it might not be better to pick on specific issue and focus on it.

    Ethanol is unsustainable, and the market model will fail also, so I am not so worried about it.

    I am a lot more worried about traitor and terminator seeds as well as the destruction of traditional forms of agriculture in the US. Any idea where he stands on this?

    Chicago Mike

    Reply to Chicago Mike's comment

  6. Susy on January 18, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Well, Vilsack’s overall record is one of aiding and abetting Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) or factory farms and promoting genetically engineered crops and animal cloning. He also has strong ties to Monsanto, which is scary to me; so he’s pro agribusiness and GMO’s, a scary combination in my mind.

    Let’s hope he can cut those ties and support small sustainable farms and heirlooms seeds, I’ll be keeping a close eye!

    Reply to Susy's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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