Locus Focus on 05/14/12
FOOD FIGHT: What You Need to Know about the Food and Farm Bill with Dan Imhoff
Why should you care about the Farm Bill if you're not a farmer or live in a farm state? The short answer is: because you eat and the Farm Bill is really about how our food is grown, what kinds of food gets grown and who gets to eat it.
Every five years, Congress revisits and passes a massive but little understood legislation known as the Farm Bill. Originally conceived as an emergency bailout for millions of farmers and unemployed during the dark times of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, the Farm Bill has snow-balled into one of the most—if not the most—significant forces affecting food, farming, and land-use in the United States. Over the decades its purpose has shifted from helping small family farmers survive hard times to providing massive corporate welfare payments to mega agribusiness farms. And only those benefiting from its largesse have orchestrated what went into each Farm Bill. Now things are changing as food justice activists, organic farming advocates and others lobbying for input into the next Farm Bill coming down the pike this fall.
On this episode of Locus Focus we are joined by Daniel Imhoff, author of Food Fight: The Citizen's Guide to the Next Food and Farm Bill, who will help us navigate the complexities of this little understood but extremely important legislation known as the Farm Bill.
Daniel Imhoff is a highly sought-after public speaker who lectures and conducts workshops on a variety of topics, from food and farming to environmental design and conservation. He has appeared on hundreds of national and regional radio and television programs, including CBS Sunday Morning, Science Friday, and West Coast Live. Dan is the president and co-founder of Watershed Media, a non-profit publishing house based in Healdsburg, California. His books include Building with Vision, Farming with the Wild, Paper or Plastic, The CAFO Reader: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories, and many others. Dan’s books have gained national attention with coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle, Newsweek, the San Jose Mercury News, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune. He has testified before Congress and spoken at numerous conferences, corporate and government offices, and college campuses, including Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Vermont Law School.
He is the president and a co-founder of the Wild Farm Alliance, a ten-year-old national organization that works to promote agriculture systems that support and accommodate wild nature. Dan lives on a small homestead farm in Northern California. http://www.watershedmedia.org