Saturday, August 22, 2020

Derecho, Pollinators and PACTPA

I would like to invite you to do some additional reading this time around.  This blog will feature links, photos and quotes from the blogs I have written for Pesticide Action Network's GroundTruth blog.

The biggest difference between what I write for PAN and what I write here is that I spend MUCH more time checking and double checking facts and resources.  But, that's not all that is different.  I put even more research into what I write for PAN and I have to pack more information into fewer words.  Here, at least, I can write a post for as long or short as I feel like writing!

But, the coolest difference?  I actually have people who read and edit what I write and give me feedback.  Oddly enough, I find that process affirming - so good for me.

I wanted to share what I have written since I took the job with PAN in April of this year.  What I will not include are the monthly Iowa Newsletters - instead I'll share links and small tidbits of the blogs.  I encourage you to take these links, enjoy reading - and then I'd like you to consider signing up to follow us as we try to make a difference in the world.  Be a part of the change process.

Gone with the wind: More uncertainty for rural Iowa

"We know recovery is still very much on our minds right now. If you are struggling, we hope you find the strength to ask for the help you need. If you were fortunate, then we hope you will find strength to provide that help."

The Anniversary we did not want

"I need you to learn how chemical-intensive agriculture has costs that we all, farmers included, must pay.  And I need you to understand enough of what it feels like so you are motivated to join PAN in building a food and farm system free of the negative impacts of pesticides. I want you to see how important this is without going through what we have experienced. 

The final stages of healing will come for me only when we make a real difference. We’ll know we made that difference when our food and farm system is characterized by respect, sustainability, diversity, and justice."

New GE corn would be a disservice to farmers

"Change requires us to climb new learning curves and it can make us feel uncomfortable. We make mistakes as we adjust and we certainly reserve the right to be unhappy about being forced to adapt. We even feel a bit of resentment that the ‘old methods’ no longer provide the same rewards. 

But, that doesn’t alter the fact that we must move on rather than cling to past success."

Cultivating a pollinator paradise

"Our farm sees pollinators as important employees, and we do what we can to pay them by providing food and habitat throughout the year. We maintain permanent wild areas and avoid disturbing the soil in parts of the farm so ground-nesting bees and other friendly critters can have a place to thrive."

PACTPA: Putting people before pesticides

This one represents a departure because it is the first "organizational voice" blog I have written for PAN.  All of the others are using my "farmer voice."  If you know me and my writing, you will see that it still sounds like me, but it is not intended to make that personal connection.  This is supposed to be PAN informing and encouraging you to consider something important.  Eventually, the "farmer voice" will also "speak" on this topic too.

"The proposed Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act (full text here) addresses many of FIFRA’s shortcomings.  This bill provides significant protections for frontline communities that bear the brunt of pesticide exposure, prohibits the use of old stockpiles of banned pesticides, and requires listing of inert ingredients on all pesticide products."

I'd want more tools than just a hammer

"The idyllic picture of the traditional farm in the United States often features the sun coming up over a big red barn. A rooster crows in the background and a few cows walk their path to the pasture. There are all sorts of green in different shades and forms, implying a variety of healthy crops. Perhaps there is a hay bale or an old tractor in that picture as well. And the farmer, if visible at all, might be wearing a broad-brimmed hat, hiding their face from the sun and from your view."


I want to grow healthy food for you, here is what's stopping me

This blog is the one that introduced me to the Groundtruth blog.  But, to be honest, it wasn't until the second blog (the hammer blog shown above) that I felt I really hit the kind of writing I wanted to feature with PAN.  Still, I am not displeased with this one either.

"The continued over-use and off-target applications of pesticides are negatively impacting the environment in which we grow your food.  We have noticed spotty germination of many of our direct-seeded crops that cannot be attributed to the seed or natural causes, but are consistent with herbicide residual effects. We have observed inhibited plant growth in our peppers, tomatoes and squash, indicating the likelihood of dicamba drift damage. 

It seems that our only choice is to stop growing."


I hope you enjoy taking a look at some of the writing I have produced for PAN.   Thus far, I am proud of what I have written - even if I look at a few things now and wonder if I should go back and adjust something here and there.  But, I consider that a positive sign - because I am continuing to learn and grow.

Another neat thing about this opportunity is that many of my farm photos are useful for the Ground Truth blog.  All but the photos in the 'Derecho' blog and the photo for the 'PACTPA' blog are mine.  It's a great opportunity and I hope that I can make a difference by using words and pictures - by encouraging you to do the little - and the big - things that will make change happen.

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