There is a lot space and a tremendous amount of natural beauty on Hawai'i Island. But despite all of the magnificence that surrounds us on the Big Island we face daunting challenges in making sure that those we serve get what they need.
I've come to Coos Bay to ride-along on a rural summer meals distribution route with Coos Bay School District. The school district received a $5000 grant from Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon to expand access to summer meals.
Before I started farming, I had little idea that non-profits like Berkshire Grown existed all over the nation, supporting small farms in ways that, unfortunately, state and federal governments are currently not set up to do.
Global food demand is rising so fast that farmers are beginning to have trouble keeping up. Projected world population growth, coupled with the new eating habits of a rising middle class, are likely to continue putting pressure on prices and boosting farm income levels for years to come.
'Business as usual' is not an option either if the global food and agriculture system is to meet the planet's food, feed and fuel needs amidst competing demands for water, land and biodiversity resources and the uncertain impacts of climate change.
If the benefits of living in a city are diminished because the Internet brings access to the world to you, then why deal with the high real estate prices, traffic, crime, pollution and difficulty of living alongside millions of other people?
"New Markets" encourages private investments from corporations and individuals who might never consider buying into "high-risk areas." The cost to taxpayers have created nearly 500,000 jobs at a cost of less than $12,000 each.
Rural transportation has traditionally meant cars and pickups, highways and Greyhound buses. While the intercity buses are fewer and farther between, however, that doesn't change people's needs to get from place to place.