-----Original Message-----
From: cakinney [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Monday, May 08, 2006 10:07 AM
To: Vicki Morrone
Subject: Re: FW: Thoughts on organizing: A proposal

Vicki Morrone wrote:
> Thoughts from an EFFS member of how we can proceed to stand up agains
> 132
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ecological Food and Farm Stewardship [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> 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
> 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,
> safety and security, and environmental sanity.  Right now,
> 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
> meetings, but we do need a way to get better organized, communicate
> each other, stay informed, disseminate information to the public, and
> speak 
> with a united voice.  Maybe rather than having it be an organization
> group, we could think about it more as an initiative, or a coalition. 
> I envision this as an effort specifically aimed at challenging
> ag. 
> legislation, working toward pro-farmer public initiatives, and
> 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
> buzz-words or misunderstood concepts (sustainable, alternative etc.)
> 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,
> 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
> just 
> a short period of time.  Rather than conceding defeat, perhaps we can 
> capitalize on this momentum to develop a stronger farmer/citizen
> and 
> a mechanism for working together to present a united front in future
> efforts 
> to promote agricultural democracy and justice in Michigan. Please
> your 
> thoughts on this. 
> Sincerely, 
> Taylor Reid
> 517-862-2793
> [log in to unmask] 
I agree 100%.  Now would be a good time to get something started.  Many 
growers will be selling to their customers at farmers markets and 
roadside stands soon.  I think it would be very helpful to have a way to

disseminate information in a /united, organized /way / /via brochures, 
stickers, signs, etc.  Let's use this opportunity to educate our 
customers about this growing threat to their food supply.//   Maybe 
Vicki's office could help?
Cynthia Kinney
Peace of Porter Farm
Lawton Michigan