In Solidarity ~ Farmers Against Fracking!

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This week we spoke with FarmsReach member and partner Adam Scow, the California Campaigns Director for Food & Water Watch.  They are coordinators of the Farmers Against Fracking coalition (among others) across the state.

Showing a unified farmer voice against fracking is a powerful force in convincing policy makers to put a hold on fracking until its negative effects on farmers, water and farmland can be researched.  As of today, only 30 more farmer signatures are needed to present farmers’ needs to fracking decision-makers. See below for a list of farmers who have already signed the petition, and please sign today!

If you’re a farmer or rancher in California who depends on quality land and water (yes, all farmers do!), fracking has many possible negative effects on the health of yourself as well as your business. Many agree that it will permanently change the face of agriculture as we know it.

Read on as we talk with Adam about what’s at stake, why this issue should matter to farmers, and what can be done to join other farmers in the fight against fracking our farmland! 

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Demystifying “The Bay-Delta Tunnels” – with 18 Reasons

Tonight I went to the 18 Reasons event about the massive Bay-Delta Tunnels water project: “Our Delta: A Conversation with an Artist, Activist and Farmer“.  As with fracking, this is a big-budget project with an enormously big impact on water in California.  And, as with fracking, it is deeply political and riddled with complex variables and a myriad of stakeholders.

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Adam Scow, California Campaigns Director at Food & Water Watch, outlines areas impacted by the Tunnels.

With the help of partners Food & Water Watch and The Nature Conservancy, we’ve already started to compile Bay-Delta Tunnel resources in our recently launched Water & Irrigation Toolkit; however tonight was a most welcomed overview of the issue! Here’s the scoop from tonight’s discussion.

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Introducing our Water & Irrigation Toolkit

water canalsIn California, where drought has been a regular occurrence since the 1860’s, most residents are concerned about the water situation. And, because farmers and ranchers are wholly dependent on fresh, clean water, issues about water scarcity, accessibility, cost, and quality are often at the forefront of their minds.

Interestingly, many farmers are incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to soil fertility management, tracking precise nutrient ratios to yield the best harvests; however, far fewer are such granular experts when it comes to managing soil moisture.

With the volatile climate and ongoing drought, it’s imperative and simply smart business to ensure farm operations are managing their water use as efficiently as possible. Using appropriate equipment and technology, monitoring and managing soil to retain moisture, and selecting plants that thrive in our unique climate are a few of the ways this can be accomplished.

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Fracking & The Media – More Transparency Needed!

frack feudLast week we covered a panel discussion about hydraulic fracturing, also known as ‘fracking’. Now that I’m aware of the issue, it seems to be popping up more frequently. However, the question still remains: how does fracking affect farmers? How does it affect the food on my plate?

This week, NPR’s show On the Media helped explain why answers seem so elusive.  In the piece Fracking Feud, host Brooke Gladstone interviewed Abrahm Lustgarten of ProPublica, who has been reporting about fracking since it first started getting media attention in 2008.

Fracking in the news is simply confusing.  In the past week alone, the Illinois governor passed what is considered one of the most stringent policies against fracking, while the EPA abandons its Wyoming research of fracking and groundwater, and – with a commissioned study by Congress in 2010 to test the impact of fracking on air and groundwater – they’ve decided to delay research until 2016.

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“Food, Farming, and Fracking” with Kitchen Table Talks

Hydraulic Fracking

I’m not a farmer. I’m what some might call an earth-minded food enthusiast or green foodie. Whether one is at the producing or consuming end of the food chain, it is important to know the relationships and issues that exist within our food systems.

Since I joined the FarmsReach team, I’ve learned a lot about the players within our food system and the issues that affect everyone from farmers to eaters. One such issue affecting every individual in the food system is fracking. Having just returned to San Francisco from China, I hadn’t heard of fracking, and as I learn quickly about this destructive process used to produce oil, it strikes me as imperative that others also become aware of this issue.

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