The 2004 film A Day Without a Mexican presented a scenario in which fresh produce from California’s farms were being sold on the black market and out of car trunks as a consequence of the sudden disappearance of the country’s Mexican population. Although satirical in nature, the message behind the film is becoming more relevant due to recent Trump administration policies regarding immigration and deportation.
According to statistics from the Farm Labor Survey of the USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service, in 2012, there were nearly 1.1 million farm workers, on average, working on the 2.1 million farms in the United States. Of those workers, approximately 50 percent were undocumented laborers. This percentage increased when broken down into specific crop production, with undocumented workers accounting for 67 percent of farm workers in the fruit and nut industry and 61 percent in the vegetable industry compared to nine percent and 17 percent, respectively, of farm workers who were U.S. citizens.
Indoor Ag-Con Returns to Las Vegas to Discuss Farm Economics and New Technology Trends in Hydroponics, Aquaponics & AeroponicsMarch 14, 2017 | Nicola Kerslake
News Release — Las Vegas, NV – March 14, 2017 — Indoor agriculture – growing crops using hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic techniques – has become popular as consumer demand for “local food” leads growers to add new farms in industrial and suburban areas across the country. Indoor Ag-Con – the industry’s premier conference – will be returning to Las Vegas for the fifth year on May 3-4, 2017 to discuss the prospects for this increasingly important contributor to the global food supply chain.
The two-day event will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and is tailored toward corporate executives from the technology, investment, vertical farming, greenhouse growing, and food and beverage industries, along with hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic startups and urban farmers. It is unique in being crop-agnostic, covering crops from leafy greens and mushrooms to alternate proteins and legal cannabis. Participants will receive an exclusive hard copy of the newest edition in a popular white paper series, which is sponsored by Urban Crops and will focus on the US industry’s development.
Matt Powell opens the door to his hydroponic lettuce farm, housed in a used refrigerated storage container on the corner of his Casper, Wyoming property, and the Marriage of Figaro fills the air.
“My little Mp3 there is loaded up with Mozart and Bach. The study I heard said they tested growing plants in three sound proof environments. They had classical in one, death metal in another and silence in a third. Classical did the best, death metal did the second best,” laughs Powell explaining how his fresh hyperlocal greens are grown with the aid of some classic tunes as they stay cool in their farm-in-a-box environment.
Whether you want to run a nonprofit focused on improving the food system or start your own organic farm, there’s a degree for that. In fact, America now boasts over 394 sustainable agriculture degrees and certificate programs. With so many great programs out there it’s hard to narrow down the best, so here are just ten of the great offerings for the budding farmer in you.
Food related endeavors that focus on community development and engagement — from community gardens and urban farms to workforce development programs — play an essential role in enhancing food security, educating citizens about where there food comes from, and strengthening food equity.
To address the role that community gardens, workforce development, and increasing food access play in strengthening communities and local food systems Seedstock’s ‘Future of Food – Community Development Field Trip’ on March 17, 2017 will provide attendees with an opportunity to learn from and interact with leading experts in the field.