Articles: Old Farm Photos, Large Farm Payments, Corporate ‘Nature’

Stunning color images of Depression-era rural America [SLIDESHOW] (Grist)

by Bonnie Azab Powell

“The Denver Post‘s plog (photo blog) recently published some 70 photos dating from 1939-1943, commissioned by the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information. They belong to the Library of Congress and were part of an exhibit called Bound for Glory: America in Color.”

Large Farms To Reap Subsidy Windfall Under Disaster Aid Plan Embraced by White House (Environmental Working Group)

By Ken Cook and Chris Campbell

“A controversial White House pledge to spend $1.5 billion to retroactively compensate farmers for 2009 crop losses — and thereby boost the reelection prospects of Arkansas Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln — will mean a six-figure windfall for hundreds of plantation-scale, highly subsidized rice and cotton farms across the South, a new Environmental Working Group analysis shows. The owners of the biggest prospective recipient, Ratio Farms, of Helena, Ark., whose names are no longer public under Obama administration policy, stand to receive $787,000 in disaster aid under the plan, on top of $874,000 in direct payment subsidies the operation already collected in 2009. Four other large farming operations are in line to get more than a half-million dollars of disaster money each. The largest share of the disaster aid will go to Arkansas — more than $210 million — with most of the funds directed to a small minority of the state’s largest, most heavily subsidized farm operations, regardless of how much harm they actually suffered in 2009. EWG projects that 270 Arkansas farms could collect more than $100,000 each in disaster subsidies.”

When Agrochemical Corporations Invented Nature (Common Dreams)

by Julio Godoy

“A civil society protest against a British agrochemical company that claims it has invented a particular sort of broccoli has again focused attention on the question who owns natural biodiversity, especially vegetables, seeds, and many forms of meat and animal food products.”

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