Daily Archives: November 16, 2009

Michael Schmidt news conference tomorrow morning at Queen’s Park

Next Saturday November 21st, it will be three years since the Ministry of Natural Resources staged an armed raid on Glencolton Farms over raw milk. See video:

Tomorrow, Tuesday November 17th, farmer Michael Schmidt will hold what has become an annual press conference to update members of provincial parliament on further developments following that November 2006 raid. In the past, concerned cow share members and interested citizens have also taken part in these press conferences, both as speakers and as listeners. Continue reading

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Florida raw dairy cleanest in the state

This recent story, by Travis Pillow, originally appeared in “The Fine Print”, a journalism project at the University of Florida. It was originally titled “The Raw Milk Revolution“.

Bubba Kurtz, left, in his manure-free milking parlor. (The Fine Print/University of Florida)

“A farmer in Florida is pushing the envelope by bucking pasteurization regulations in milk. The milk is safe to drink as long as the cows are healthy, the farmer says.

It’s a good day for Bubba Kurtz when nobody craps in the parlor.

These days most dairies are crappy—covered in the feces of hundreds of cows who get packed into industrial feedlots, injected with hormones and antibiotics, and engorged with chemical-laced feed until they can’t help but shit themselves.

But Kurtz runs one of Florida’s cleanest milk operations, with some of the state’s healthiest cows. In 2007, Kurtz and Sons Dairy won the prize for the cleanest milk in the state. Since he went into business on his own in 1991, Kurtz has won the prize three times and consistently ranks in the top 20, out of hundreds of dairies. His relatively tiny herd has built a legion of loyal customers from Tallahassee to Ocala. Continue reading

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Agribusiness’ “problem” with organic

In this story from The Cap Times, Jim Goodman argues that “Corporate agribusiness has a problem with organic farmers because they haven’t yet figured out a way to totally bleed them like they have conventional farmers.”

They used to tell farmers "get big or get out". Maybe that's no longer a workable solution. More likely it's going to be, go organic and sell local or get out of farming.

But I think it’s more than that. It’s that organic agriculture and more specifically, farmers selling direct to consumers cutting out the middle man and the processing — as in raw milk — set a dangerous precedent. Dangerous that is, for the future of agribusiness’ sector dominance. The market share of these kind of farmers may be small… but it’s growing. And as more and more agribusiness farmers wake up to the fact that possibly the only farmers making money in today’s economy ARE those who sell local and sell direct… well, it doesn’t take a lot of smarts to see that organic farming offers a way out for corporate farmers who feel trapped in a sinking ship. Can a tipping point be far off, if things are allowed to continue the way they have been going.

“Why is conventional agriculture so wound up? Are they afraid of organic agriculture? What’s all the fuss about? After all, a recent study by the Lieberman Research Group showed that organic food sales account for only 3.5 percent of all food product sales in the U.S.

A column in the September 2009 Prairie Farmer leads me to believe that the author, a spokesperson for conventional agriculture, dislikes and even fears organic farming and its supporters. Continue reading

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