Sandy Lerner has starred in a second and a third.
After being fired from the Silicon Valley computer networking company in 1990, six years after she helped start it, Lerner created a line of punk cosmetics she later sold for a hefty profit.
Now 55, the no-nonsense entrepreneur, self-described cattleman and onetime socialist is deep into her third career.
She runs Ayrshire Farms near Middleburg. The $7 million-a-year business includes 3,000 certified organic, certified humane, heritage-breed turkeys now giving their lives for next week's Thanksgiving holiday.
The USDA said its EA has been drafted in response to a request from KWS SAAT AG and Monsanto – currently the only supplier of GM sugar beets – for administrative action to allow continued cultivation of Roundup Ready sugar beets under certain conditions.
Deputy administrator for the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service APHIS biotechnology regulatory services Michael Gregoire said in a statement: “APHIS takes its role in protecting plant health very seriously and is well aware of the importance of this decision for sugar beet growers and processors. We are issuing this environmental assessment to share our decision-making process as transparently as possible and allow for public comment.”
The departments of agriculture and trade and industry are circulating for comment a draft policy on organic farming that promises to promote the practice among emerging black farmers and provide training.
The initiative has led to the registration of a non-profit SA Organic Sector Organisation (SAOSO) to try to end fragmentation in the industry.
SAOSO spokesman Ian Robinson said: "We will lobby for the far-reaching benefits of organics, from more efficient water use to carbon sequestration and the health benefits of better nutrition and reduced agro-chemical toxins."
For Wes Jackson, the prairie holds the key to an agricultural revolution he's been promoting for more than 30 years. Jackson is president of the Salina, Kan.-based Land Institute, and a founding father of the sustainable agriculture movement. The institute researches new crops that Jackson says will be easier on the earth and on our bodies. The underlying premise is mimic nature's ecosystems - like prairies or alpine meadows - and grow a mixture of perennials instead of the monoculture of annuals that characterize modern agriculture.
This month, October, is Non-GMO Month. I find most people are really confused about what a GMO is and where GMOs are found. Some people tend to think that GMO seeds are similar to the type of hybridization that has been going on amongst gardeners for centuries. Not true! The type of genetic modification that happens to create GMO seeds involves the forceful insertion of things like E.coli genes or genes that produce glyphosphate (an herbicide) or cause Roundup resistance (allowing farmers to dump more Roundup onto the plants) into corn and soybeans and cotton.
In Iowa, the race for Secretary of Agriculture has started attracting national attention. Two starkly different candidates are in a dead heat for the traditionally low-profile post, and the winner will be a bellwether of our national attitudes towards food and agricultural policy.
The UN top official on the right to food called for wholesale changes in farming methods to safeguard the environment and ensure everyone has enough to eat.
Olivier De Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, said in a statement to mark World Food Day that there is currently "little to rejoice about", and "worse may still be ahead".
"Current agricultural developments are... threatening the ability for our children's children to feed themselves," he said. "A fundamental shift is urgently required if we want to celebrate World Food Day next year."
De Schutter said the emphasis on chemical fertilisers and a greater mechanisation of production was "far distant from the professed commitment to fight climate change and to support small-scale, family agriculture".
Since the mid-1990s just five biotech giants - Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow and DuPont - have bought up more than 200 other companies between them to dominate our access to seeds.
Philip Howard from Michigan State university, who has produced a unique visual to illustrate this growing concentration of power in the hands of a few companies, says the takeover of the seed market has been 'dramatic' and that it is getting harder for farmers to find alternatives.
After more than two years of litigation, a federal court last week struck down an Ohio ban on labeling dairy products as "rbGH free," "rbST free," or "artificial hormone free" if produced by cows not treated with bovine growth hormone.
In what could prove to be a landmark case, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Ohio's absolute ban on hormone-free claims violated dairy processors' First Amendment rights and was "more extensive than necessary to serve the state's interest in preventing consumer deception."
Perhaps more notable, the court also ruled that rbST-treated milk is compositionally different, disagreeing with both the lower court's ruling and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's finding that there is no significant difference between milk produced by cows treated with rbST and by those without.
Relying on evidence of compositional differences between milk from cows treated with rbST/rbGH and milk from untreated cows, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today struck down an Ohio state ban on labels pertaining to the use of artificial hormones in dairy products (IDFA et al v. Boggs, U.S. Court of Appeals). The Ohio state rule in question banned statements such as “rbGH Free,” “rbST Free” and “artificial hormone free,” aimed at providing consumers with the information needed to make informed choices.