I already (permanently) link to Civil Eats on this blog but just in case you never click that link you should click this one. It is a piece written by my friend, mentor, partner in activism Bob St. Peter. This Land is Our Land? Here’s a quote: “The American way of land has been this: conquest, enclosure, inheritance, foreclosure, and sale to the highest bidder. And that trend is likely only to get worse. For example, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, at the bleeding edge of free-market thinking, has proposed that any corporation anywhere in the world be able to buy as much farm land in his state as it wants. At the moment, there are at least a few restrictions on the kinds of international investors allowed to dabble in Wisconsin farmland, with a 640-acre limit on purchases for firms designated foreign.”
Read all the way to the end. Bob asks you to pull up a chair and enter the discussion about how we can keep land in the hands of those who will farm it.
At other places in the article it speaks about young people who do not come from a farming background who want to “get their hands dirty” and get back to the land as their parents and grandparents did, however briefly, in the 60’s. Which brought to mind the newest edition of my own alumni magazine which was it’s “Thirty under 30” issue. In this publicity rag from a school known for its schools of medicine, engineering and business there were TWO alums on the list who were doing work in the area of local food. One was labeled a “Local Food Champion” and the other was someone who works for Slow Food in NYC. Not bad odds. Maybe, just maybe, the issues we care so much about are becoming mainstream. As long as the interest is sincere and not just a co-opting of the “right” words then this is a good thing.