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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

April 29, 2016 |

seedstockYoung farmers are aiming to change the face of local farming [Alternet]

Excerpt: Richard Nixon’s agriculture secretary in the early to mid-1970s was Earl Butz, a man best known for advising the nation’s farmers to “get big or get out.”

Study: Nation’s food insecurity problem holding steady [USA Today]

Excerpt: Counties in Mississippi and in Arizona have the direst problem of counties nationwide with food insecurity and hunger, according to a study to be released Thursday by a nonprofit based in Chicago.

Northeast

N.J.’s urban farms bring healthy local foods [NJ.com]

Excerpt: Urban agriculture is helping bring healthy food choices to those living in New Jersey’s congested communities, such as Newark, Camden, Trenton and Paterson.

Study reveals parity between farmers markets and grocers [Seven Days]

Excerpt: Most farmers and food-system workers cite price concerns as a major factor in keeping some locals away from farmers markets. “People have this perception of [farmers markets] as being elitist or more expensive,” says Abbey Willard, food-systems section chief at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.    

Midwest

City Commission approves urban agriculture laws in Lawrence, Kansas, rejects animal slaughter [Lawrence Journal-World]

Excerpt: Some Lawrence residents will be allowed to own goats and sheep, but not slaughter them, under new laws approved by the City Commission on Tuesday.

Chickens help teach about urban agriculture [NP Telegraph]

Excerpt: It’s not difficult for Channing Reha to make her animal science classes at Bryan High come, well, alive. Instead of teaching an anatomy lesson off a PowerPoint, Reha can have her students actually feel a chicken wing or check a chick for a swollen crop (part of a chicken’s digestive tract).

Chickens could be coming to a backyard near you [Battle Creek Enquirer]

Excerpt: Planning commissions in Bedford Township and the city of Battle Creek are hearing proposals to allow urban hens.

Consultants recommend creating food hub in Kane County, Illinois [Chicago Tribune]

Excerpt: Kane County should work with partners to establish an 8,000-square-foot food hub within the county, according to a year-long feasibility study.

Devon Gibson: Sprouting a commitment to food and community [Civil Eats]

Excerpt: Devon Gibson was told he should get out of Battle Creek, Michigan if he wanted to succeed. But he decided to stay and grow food instead.

Food deserts get access to good nutrition via converted buses [Sustainablog]

Excerpt: Two programs — one in St. Louis and one in Toronto — are trying to alleviate the effects of food deserts on local residents by bringing them the fresh, wholesome food they need most. In both cases, the programs use converted buses to access the affected neighborhoods.

Should we be farming more fish in the Great Lakes? [Civil Eats]

Excerpt: Michigan lawmakers, scientists, and industry groups are at odds over whether the Great Lakes should be open for business to commercial fish farming.

West

Teen urban farming program blooms in West Central, Spokane [The Spokesman-Review]

Excerpt: Zoe O’keefe sits in the dirt on a hot April afternoon weeding and watering plants in raised garden beds. “I’ve had a pretty messed up background,” O’keefe said.  

Can food hubs boost rural farming economies? [High Country News]

Excerpt: Dan Hobbs farms 30 acres of land east of Pueblo, Colorado. For years, he spent weekends traveling hours to farmers markets to sell his produce, always losing a day in the fields and returning home with leftover vegetables that didn’t sell.  

An interview with the ‘Gangsta Gardener’ [Comstock’s magazine]

Excerpt: Ron Finley deemed himself the “Gangsta Gardener” with pride. The Los Angeles resident is a big shot in the national urban gardening movement and isn’t afraid of stirring things up, as reflected by his nickname.

Meals-on-Wheels unveils urban community farm [Times of San Diego]

Excerpt: Meals-on-Wheels Greater San Diego this week unveiled its Fresh Initiative Garden Project. The garden, located at the Old Town Administration Building, will honor the individual funders and community partners that made the $200,000 improvement project possible.

A community garden takes root [Vegas Seven]

Excerpt: Urban farming is on the rise across the country. School, community, backyard and even rooftop farms and gardens are becoming more prominent in American cities from New York to Los Angeles. Las Vegas has its own urban agriculture pioneer, Rosalind Brooks.

South

The art of urban gardening [Chattanooga Pulse]

Excerpt: Gardeners have been itching to get their hands in the soil since the first seed catalogs began arriving in the mail in February.  

Building a local food council in Guilford County [Yes! Weekly]

Excerpt: The perceived need for a unifying organization to increase overall effectiveness was part of the impetus for a meeting in the fall of 2013. That meeting brought together dozens of interested community members to address issues around food supply in Guilford County.

Students use love of science & nutrition to help others enjoy healthier school lunches [Fox 5 Atlanta]

Excerpt: A greenhouse and a school of fish are giving students at Benjamin E. Mays High an extraordinary lesson in scientific farming techniques.

First look: DC-based Everblume is developing a ‘living’ refrigerator [DC Inno]

Excerpt: Michael Morgan, a biochemist and nanotechnology specialist, has spent years working for both the federal government and a cohort of defense contractors, including Northrop Grumman and The Tauri Group, constructing innovative and complex products like “DNA-based gold nanowires.”

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