focus turns to the under secretaries of agriculture

A lot of us were disappointed a few weeks ago to hear that Obama had chosen former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack to serve as Secretary of Agriculture. We had been hoping for someone a little less factory farm, and a little more localvore – a little less Monsanto, and little more sustainability-minded and organic-friendly. Well, when that didn’t happen, I just kind of gave up and reconciled myself to the fact that Obama wasn’t going to pursue a sustainable ag agenda, but just do more of the same. Fortunately, other folks weren’t as willing to capitulate. An organization called Food Democracy Now! began focusing on the as-yet-to-be-nominated Under Secretaries. They’ve come up with a list of 12 nominees that they would like to see considered for those seats, and now they’re trying to get the word out. Here’s a letter from the organization that was just forwarded by to me by a friend.

…In just three weeks, more than 60,000 Americans have joined Michael Pollan, Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, Alice Waters, Marion Nestle, Frances Moore Lapp

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  1. Meta
    Posted January 7, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    In today’s news:

    Close to 70% of US produced antibiotics are fed to cattle, pigs and poultry. Now those antibiotics are showing up in vegetables grown in soil fertilized with livestock manure.

  2. Brackache
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Another article about Vilsack.

    From Organic Consumers . org.

    I don’t have an opinion, just found it and thought of you.

  3. mark
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the links. I’ll definitely check them out.

    I find it interesting that this post about food only got 2 comments, while the one about booze got around 50. granted, I was asking for responses on the booze one, but, still, I thought that more people would want to weigh in on something as important as the future availability of… you know… the stuff that keeps us alive.

  4. Brackache
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    It’s like sports. It’s relaxing to give a damn about things that are unimportant, precisely because they’re unimportant. Caring about huge important problems makes it hard to sleep at night. I say this without judgement. Who’s to say which is wiser, since we all end up as forgotten dirt clods regardless?

  5. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 8, 2009 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Are you suggesting booze doesn’t keep us alive?

    Okay, since you asked, I think Vilsack was a crafty and smart appointment. Farmers and their ilk strike me as proud folk who won’t respond well to folks from the coasts telling them how to do business. I think Vilsack, who knows the culture, could be more effective at nudging an agenda than a perceived outsider. And, I think it’s fair to give someone a seat at the table who represents a portion of the folks who make the stuff that keeps us alive. Not sure if it’ll play out well but seems like a reasonable move.

  6. Paw
    Posted January 9, 2009 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Don’t mess with my beer or bacon. That’s the shit that’ll get me out in the streets.

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