We in the independent small farm sector probably need to keep an eye on new threats to organic farming. It seems there is no end of manipulation by industry to control markets and government continues to be driven by special interests.
It’s hard, but I think we need to stay ahead of the game by anticipating the moves, refining our methods, and focusing always on quality – there isn’t any room to hold back. The combination of a changing climate and the destruction of ecological land and water integrity brought on by corporate food production is creating serious new disease and insect threats of epidemic proportions.
In contrast, the basic reliance on natural processes inherent in organic farming operations provides some resiliency. I believe we provide the only real long-term security by protecting and restoring what is left of our natural ecosystems.
However, like with everything outside the capitalized factory-farming norm, we need to know our own operations, hold the reins tightly, and stay on course. Obama gave us back a reliance on cheap energy. That’s unfortunate because that reliance has led to an over-production of industrial food “products” in our markets. It’s an end game. Ultimately, our survival is going to depend on good stewardship and the continued delivery of good food locally and regionally.
I think climate change is going to be the deciding factor that will undo the current dependence on factory-farming and mono-crops. Meanwhile, we must keep our operations clean and safe.
Balanced ecosystems are intrinsically safe – we know that. But we are living in an environment where pathogens enter directly from neighboring industry. The environment around us has become imbalanced and we are subject, as small organic farmers, to all the ills of our industrial society as a whole.
The problem does not stop at our property lines. Therefore, we’ve got to be educated about safety, keep vigilant, and cooperate to stay the course despite all that our current government does to distort even the history and meaning of organic through new regulations.
The main conflict continues to center on the fact that ecological balance is left out of the equation for food safety. All reliance continues to be contrived, technical, and predicated upon unbridled growth and profits.
Nothing is given to restoring the natural ecological balance of our resource base.