It's the public face of our commitment to help agricultural operations of all sizes take advantage of new opportunities, meet the growing demand for local and regional food and succeed in America's diverse marketplace.
We assume our food system has somehow taken care of itself. The aisles of perfectly aligned boxes, and perfectly stacked produce reflect a system where a tomato is a tomato is a tomato, or an egg is an egg is an egg. Food is a commodity and it's all the same. But it's not.
Monsanto's monopoly limits farmers' choices and threatens our livelihoods. But America's antitrust laws were enacted to protect us from this very situation. These laws are premised on the belief that competitive markets produce the best products, and they need to be enforced.
Some people get rich by creating good things, and they support many people. But some people -- they used to be called robber barons -- succeed at others' expense. So just as wealth isn't necessarily bad, "efficiency" isn't necessarily good.
These two biotech giants have developed a weed management program that, if successful, would go a long way toward a predicted doubling of harmful herbicide use in America's corn belt during the next decade.
In a much more geographically diverse region where water itself is already a precious commodity, Buffett feels adamant that teaching the world to farm like Americans is not the answer. The secret lies in working with the earth rather than against it.
Given the unvarnished facts about the failures of Monsanto's products and its widespread damage to the environment, how has the company been able to convince anyone that it is, according to its latest PR effort, "improving agriculture and improving lives"?
While having your own brand of honey is going to be a top reason for most, there are plenty of other selling points. Beekeeping has, for me, been one of the most fun and engaging things I've ever gotten tangled up in.
Tis the season when hope for peace runs high. The season when I renew my commitment to creating a better world, based in large measure on the experiences of villagers across the globe, like the ones I met in Chillipoi.
Food accessibility, costs, and subsidies will come into sharp focus as Congress looks to cut at least $23 billion in subsidies in the 2012 Farm Bill. While cuts are crucial to stem the growing deficit, many will only hurt the population and can threaten the economy in the long run.