Thursday, August 4, 2011

Healthy Land and inter-agency synergy

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson traveled to Lititz, Pa. on Wednesday. She toured a local dairy farm and held a roundtable discussion with local farmers and leaders about Obama’s commitment on strong and healthy rural America.

Sounds like a propaganda tour but I will give her and Mr. Obama the benefit of the doubt. Local farm productions and methods are close to my heart and I wanted to see what the EPA and the President are proposing to do. From my past research, I know industrial agriculture pollution is almost never regulated. Their method of operation leads to unhealthy choices we make at the market. I’ve seen an increase demand in the recent months for healthy and locally produced food. This demand is outpacing “Organic” and any other food fads. I think the American people are finally coming to their senses about the totality of their food experience.

According to Ms. Jackson, the EPA wants to work closely with rural communities to improve and protect their air and water. They want to improve the health of the rural residents. One thing she seems to forget is the soil quality and the long-term CO2 depletion from the topsoil from industrial farming. But I guess that’s not really an EPA matter, more of a Dept of Agriculture thing. Well, it looks like there could be some inter-agency cooperation here and the synergy towards a sustainable culture is astonishing.

Ms. Jackson seems to hint at the idea of Sustainability.

"In recent years Warwick Township and Lancaster County as a whole have served as models for conserving natural resources and building sustainable rural communities. We're here to talk with the area farmers, business owners and local leaders about how we work together to strengthen their environment, their health and their economy . . . . The livelihoods of the people here depend on clean air, safe sources of water and healthy lands. Hearing directly from farmers and the people who work with them about commonsense solutions is essential to ensuring the viability of farming operations and protecting soil and water quality."

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

So the healthy land idea is in her peripheral. But I wonder how long it would take for the majority of the rural farmers to start learning about the downgrades of their land due to their aggressive farming techniques? With the corn prices riding high, and lack of an aggressive national or grassroots campaign to educate farmers, I doubt the concept will take off. Let’s hope Ms. Jackson gets around to talking to the Department of Agriculture, but I’m not going to hold my breath. Who knows what will happen in the next election cycle, and who knows where the Republicans will take us in the future. 

Jody Butterfield, Sam Bingham - Holistic Management Handbook: Healthy Land, Healthy Profits
Island Press | 2006 | ISBN: 1559638850

For more information on EPA’s work with the agricultural community:

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