Friday, August 18, 2006

Ted meets with sustainable funders to share ideas

Across the country there are dozens of charitable organizations that dedicate some of their time and resources to sustainable agriculture projects. Each year, many of these funding groups gather to share ideas and stories about what they see happening in this area. Farm Aid has been an active part of this group for more than a decade. At Farm Aid, virtually all of our resources are dedicated to building the Good Food Movement by supporting family farm agriculture. We see it as our contribution to the development of a healthful, environmentally friendly, economically viable and socially just family farm based food system.

Not long ago these sustainable ag funders got together in Portland, Maine where we heard about interesting advances in development of renewable energy. Products like ethanol, biodiesel, and wind energy were discussed as were the challenges family farmers face in making sure they can make a profit from these renewable energies.

We also heard about the challenges organic food processors are facing as they struggle to meet the rising consumer demand for organic products. What we heard was that more organic farmers are needed to produce the milk, poultry, meat and fresh produce people say they want. It won’t be easy. There are a lot of challenges to getting farm fresh, local and organic foods into our homes. Farm Aid is supporting projects across the country to help do just that, and we see momentum building. Others are seeing it too. We heard from a New York Times food columnist who told us she was seeing rising interest in food freshness, variety, nutritional value and the environmental impact of food production. We agree.

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