The deregulation of the American agricultural system over the past few decades has allowed domestic food production to become controlled by a handful of powerful corporations, leading to an overproduction of low-cost, intensive commodity crops. This has left small farms vulnerable to fluctuations in the market, and has made them unable to compete with the low prices set by agribusinesses. The bad food policies currently in place Washington have been highly detrimental to small farmers, rural communities, the environment and human health.
The Farm Bill is the primary agricultural and food policy legislation in the United States. The bill is renewed and passed by Congress every 5 years and is up for reauthorization in 2012. The Sowing the Seeds event is an opportunity for communities around the country to show support for a better food system, small farmers, and better food for our families.
As a part of Earth Week, Bennington College students will be holding an awareness building campaign to inform consumers about the chance to change policy on how food is grown, processed and distributed, and accessed through the market infrastructure in the United States. Sowing the Seeds events are being coordinated by the Food and Water Watch, an organization dedicated to making sure that what we consume is produced affordably, safely and sustainably. Bennington student Simone Adler has been corresponding with representatives from the Food and Water Watch in order to organize and implement this event.
We will be giving out information from Food & Water Watch about the Farm Bill and getting petitions signed to send to our representatives in Washington. Casey Taylor, the environmental studies fellow, will be there to inform people of the politics of the farm bill. Nutritionist Maddie Sobel, who practices in Bennington, is also coming to give information about nutrition, local farms, and wellness, and the Bennington Sustainable Food Project will also be to let people know about changes that are happening on campus.
Snacks will be available, and donations are always appreciated!