Wrangler Sources Sustainable Cotton from SOWEGA Farmer

Wrangler Sources Sustainable Cotton from SOWEGA Farmer

Wrangler has announced it will roll out a special line of jeans from sustainable cotton farmers in five states. McClendon Acres, an 8500-acre cotton, peanut, and corn farm in Leary, has been chosen as the Georgia supplier for the Wrangler Rooted collection.

Georgia Organics: Farm to Restaurant Campaign

This work is being funded by a USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Local Food Promotion Program grant that I wrote. I’m excited to see it in action.

Application Deadline: March 4, 2019 11:59 pm

For the next three years, Georgia Organics will embark on a Farm to Restaurant campaign to increase the domestic consumption and sales from local organic farms in Georgia to restaurants in metro Atlanta.  Georgia Organics will work with farmers to provide them with the business management, post-harvest handling, and record-keeping tools that enable them to become “restaurant-ready” in addition to creating a branding campaign that recognizes Atlanta restaurants for supporting Georgia’s small sustainable farms.

Georgia Organics will accept cohorts each year of the campaign with applications opening in January. Applicants considered for the campaign are subject to requests for additional information and farm visits from Georgia Organics staff.  Farmer cohorts will be announced by mid-March.

Application Submission Options

You can submit your application by completing the online application below or submitting the downloadable application by email to Organic Procurement Coordinator Lauren Cox at laurencox@georgiaorganics.org.

Ladies & Gentlemen, We Have a New Farm Bill (Almost)

The new Farm Bill has passed both chambers of Congress and is making its way to the President’s desk. After the New Year, I will have updates on individual grant, cost-share, and payment programs as they begin to roll out.

This legislation looks to be the best of all possible outcomes for all of the current players in American agriculture. As per usual, look to the National Sustainable Agricultural Coalition for the fine print and interpretation However, if you want to read the entire 800-plus page bill, you can indulge yourself right here:

The Black Sheep of Climate Change

There's a good interview at NPR's The Salt with Chris Clayton, ag and policy reporter with DTN/The Progressive Farmer, who has become the Cassandra of climate change in the farming community. For those unfamiliar with the general attitude about the subject inside agriculture, it should be an informative read. The impolitic rollout of the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule by the Obama EPA will have lasting cultural effects among farmers and their perception of government regulations and agency overreach. There's a treatise on energized elitism in that. 

But producers who do not embrace climate change as a reality are taking a dangerous and, sometimes, outright fatuous position. In the first place, planning for environmental variability and thinking long-term about water availability are simply good risk management strategies. The bigger issue is the lost opportunity for farmers to portray themselves as a solution to climatic disruption. If they push the narrative that conscientious farming can sequester carbon, limit emissions, and lead to cleaner water, it's a marketing coup. But it also might lead, eventually, to policy that puts money in their pockets for building soil and the productive quality of their farms. 

It's fascinating and nearly unbelievable to read that, 20 year ago, American Farm Bureau was a primary advocate of cap-and-trade carbon policy:

During the Clinton administration, Farm Bureau was really one of the leaders in helping pitch the concept of a cap-and-trade plan that also partially would have paid farmers for sequestering carbon in soil, using the kind of practices that build organic matter. Farm organizations helped pitch this idea to the Clinton administration. By the time you get around to the debate in 2009, Farm Bureau takes a very skeptical attitude, and then starts inviting some of the strongest climate critics to become speakers at its convention.
— Chris Clayton