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From the Sacramento Bee, January 25, 2012
The grass-roots (and grass-fed) agriculture revolution that Patty Chelseth started last summer is picking up steam.
Chelseth, of My Sisters’ Farm in Shingle Springs, has launched a campaign to get a “Local Food and Community Self-Governance” ordinance. Her effort got a warm reception Tuesday from the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors.
Although supervisors did not pass anything with teeth, they gave strong verbal support to Chelseth and others who believe they are starting a revolution against onerous state regulations that hurt small farmers. Read more »
The Food Rights Coalition is a statewide group of dairy share farmers and owners/consumers who came together in the wake of raids and Cease and Desist Orders directed against dairy shares and food buying clubs in California. The following proposal will be presented before the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Small Herd Dairy Working Group, created by Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross to find ways to meet the needs of very small dairy operations for legal recognition. The Food Rights Coalition seeks to decriminalize the production of milk on a small scale for local consumption and gain recognition for the rights of consumers and farmers to contract such basic services as the production of healthy dairy products. The proposal includes reference to laws in other state that suggest alternative models to the highly restrictive provisions of the California Code.
Proposal for CDFA Small Herd Dairy Working Group
1. FAMILY COW:Citizens have milk for their own family and they share it with their neighbors. This category allows for no more than 3 animal units in lactation formilk production. Read more »
BY TOM LASKAWY
Four companies currently control 90 percent of all beef processing in the US. One of the least-discussed but most promising attempts at food system reform was dealt a serious blow the other day. The USDA itself eviscerated its proposed reform to a set of rules which would have given a government division with a wonky name — the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) — authority to crack down on the way large corporate meatpackers wield power over small and mid-sized ranchers.
To say this was a lost opportunity is a vast understatement. After all, the top four companies control 90 percent of all beef processing. In the case of pork, four companies control 70 percent of the processing, while for poultry it’s nearly 60 percent. When you get that kind of market power,* abuse becomes rampant. Indeed, ranchers all around the country now agree that it’s impossible for them to get a fair price for livestock. Read more »