Farming and Rural Development Articles July, 2011

The following articles on farming and rural development come highly recommended. Click on the titles to read the full articles.

Next Generation Farmer: Ana Catalán (By Twilight Greenaw, Civil Eats)

EXCERPT: When it comes to co-supervising the farm’s crew of workers (a group that ranges in size from six full-time people in December to 40 part-time workers in the summer harvest months), Ana takes cues from her mom. Once a farmworker herself, María graduated from the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) over 15 years ago and has run her own organic farm ever since. But getting established as a woman farmer (and single mom) wasn’t easy; many in their extended family were skeptical. “People did not value organic farming as they do now,” recalled Ana. “It was a hard time. My mom knew how to farm, but she didn’t know about marketing. She invested a lot and lost a lot.”

Ga’s farm-labor crisis playing out as planned (By Jay Bookman)

EXCERPT: After enacting House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia. It might be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they’ve done to Georgia’s largest industry.

Homegrown National Security Will Be Rural (By Shawn Poynter, The Daily Yonder)

EXCERPT: Okay, so what’s the deal with having two guys who work one floor under the Secretary of Defense giving the keynote address at the National Rural Assembly? Well, it made perfect sense. Hold on and you’ll see. Navy Captain Wayne Porter and Marine Colonel Mark Mykleby were asked to write a new national security plan for the U.S. They did it about two years ago and you can read a (brief) version of it here.  They thought the country had lost its way after the Cold War, that America was trying to impose its will through force throughout the world and that wasn’t working. They thought the U.S. needed a new way of thinking about itself in the world, so they wrote one. It’s called “A National Strategic Narrative.” And it has a place for rural America.

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