Letter to the Editor: Championing the Free Trade Area of America
I am not a farmer but I eat, and I care about what happens with farming and food. For years I have received the Land Stewardship Letter out of Minnesota. Most of the farmers and farming they work with are in that midwest area. But also, most of the issues they deal with are part of farming across the country.
Farmer from various states have begun meeting to exchange ideas as how best to produce foods of all kinds and ways to market it as locally as possible. Also, they consider how to influence legislation for farm policy. A few such meetings this last winter were: the Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference in LaCrosse, Wis.; the Community Food Security Coalition in Atlanta, Ga.; and the Dialogue on Performance Based Conservation Policies for Agriculture in Ames, Iowa.
So much of our food is shipped long distances, losing vitamins and flavor on the way. How much more of it could be produced and sold locally.
Industrial style farming is already done in Utah and I keep trying to find ways to recommend that it does not spread. Since state and national policies affect everyone, those in one part of the state or country cannot be concerned about just their section. As we know, many rivers run together and can increase in pollution; as farm land is built over, food must be trucked from further and further, etc.
It could be that farmers in this area know about all this. I am aware of a few things they do, but am sure there is a lot more, I don't know. It takes farmers and others who care about the land and what kind of food is available to eat to be actively involved in these issues in order to make sure we have the best way of caring for the land and best food to eat.