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MICH-ORGANIC  May 2006

MICH-ORGANIC May 2006

Subject:

FW: Thoughts on organizing: A proposal

From:

Vicki Morrone <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vicki Morrone <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 8 May 2006 09:18:04 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (81 lines)

Thoughts from an EFFS member of how we can proceed to stand up agains PA
132

-----Original Message-----
From: Ecological Food and Farm Stewardship [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Taylor Clarkston Reid
Sent: Sunday, May 07, 2006 8:52 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Thoughts on organizing: A proposal

I think Joe Scrimger's idea about organizing a network in Michigan that
is 
capable of coming together to form a united front in fighting these
things 
is an excellent one. I too believe there is growing support for our
shared 
vision of a food system that emphasizes farmer and citizen rights, food 
safety and security, and environmental sanity.  Right now, agribusiness
is 
taking advantage of or lack of organization to challenge these values
and 
consolidate its already powerful economic and political position. I
don't 
think we need another organization with a board of directors and lots of

meetings, but we do need a way to get better organized, communicate with

each other, stay informed, disseminate information to the public, and
speak 
with a united voice.  Maybe rather than having it be an organization or 
group, we could think about it more as an initiative, or a coalition. 

I envision this as an effort specifically aimed at challenging corporate
ag. 
legislation, working toward pro-farmer public initiatives, and fighting
for 
equal representation within public institutions such as MSU, MSUE, and
MDA.  
With the new election cycle coming up, we could also ask candidates
seeking 
our votes to clearly articulate their positions on the issues that are 
important to us and help develop institutional support within the 
government.  I propose the name Michigan Citizens for Agricultural 
Democracy.  This kind of name is inclusive, in that it avoids any of the

buzz-words or misunderstood concepts (sustainable, alternative etc.) and

should allow for the inclusion of consumers and citizens as well as
farmers, 
both organic and conventional. 

Efforts to challenge this new GMO legislation, ensuring that MSU, MSUE,
and 
MAES follow through with their recent commitments to acknowledge the
growing 
importance of alternative agriculture and engage in a meaningful
dialogue 
about our concerns, and organizing opposition to upcoming CAFO
legislation 
seem like important priorities right now.  We need to get together and 
coordinate ourselves so that we are not simply a bunch of individual
voices 
crying out in the wilderness.  Our effort to challenge this bill was 
unsuccessful in this round, but I am encouraged by the level of
dialogue, 
new connections, and collective action we have been able to mobilize in
just 
a short period of time.  Rather than conceding defeat, perhaps we can 
capitalize on this momentum to develop a stronger farmer/citizen voice,
and 
a mechanism for working together to present a united front in future
efforts 
to promote agricultural democracy and justice in Michigan. Please share
your 
thoughts on this. 

Sincerely, 

Taylor Reid
517-862-2793
[log in to unmask] 

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