South Austin Popular Culture Center
"...What the hell has Chris Bell been smoking? The former Democratic US congressman has apparently endorsed Kinky Friedman in his party's primary run off for agriculture commissioner...."
"...Air Force colonel Kim Olson is unopposed in the Democratic primary. She's pledged to hit every Texas county to spread her message of regenerative agriculture, farmland preservation, and water policies that protect farmers' rights..."
"...Dear Editor, After selling for 14 years at the various farmers' markets, I left that scene years ago and went the route of only selling as a community-supported agriculture farm. Since over the years the common theme was what the grower was reselling..."
"...What we share, however, is a commitment to fresh organic produce and a common source. We are all subscribers to Hairston Creek Farm's Community Supported Agriculture program..."
"...As green initiatives increase in popularity, the city of Austin maintains a complex relationship with urban agriculture. Many urban farm advocates viewed the controversial update to the urban farm code – which failed to include a proposed provision allowing for the processing of animals in single-family zoning – as a step back from sustainability..."
"...3-5, an international array of thinkers and doers, all focused on a sustainable future, descend upon our fair city to discuss the relationship between humans and the Earth. The Food and Agriculture component boasts rising stars, homegrown heroes, and connoisseurs of all things tasty and environmentally conscious..."
"...One out of every seven Texans works in or around the farming business, adding $100 billion to the state's economy. So, of course, the debate around who will be the next agriculture commissioner may come down to two musicians and a former pitcher...."
"...Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is anything but progressive; the recently re-elected Republican is notorious for racist and offensive social media posts targeting Democrats. But when it comes to hemp production, he's happy to lean forward, urging Congress to pass the 2018 Farm Bill, which includes a measure to remove hemp from the list of federally controlled substances..."
"...For most of the eight years Austin's Urban Roots youth farm program has been in existence, the aspiring young farmers were taught how people who make their living in agriculture deal with drought conditions and water conservation issues. This week's Memorial Day flooding delivered a different set of lessons...."
"...Adapted by Oscar-winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire), Salmon Fishing stars Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria) as Harriet, investment consultant to a wealthy Yemeni sheik (Waked) and tasked with turning his dream of fly-fishing in the desert into reality. To that end, she enlists resistant Alfred (McGregor), a sweater-vested pencil-pusher in the Department of Fisheries and Agriculture who considers the whole proposition total tosh..."
"...Rick Perry standing in front of what looked like Soviet-era art at his Republican Party of Texas convention speech or Sarah Palin's plan to visit Margaret Thatcher – who now has clinical dementia. Just ask Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and challenger Hank Gilbert...."
"...Robert Deuell, R-Greenville, on Criminal Justice.) Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, gets to chair the new full Agriculture and Rural Affairs committee...."
"...Texas Agriculture Commissioner Rick Perry doesn't have an egg on his face. It's more like a large omelette, complete with cheese, onions -- and since it involves Perry -- lots of ham..."
"...The nonprofit organization, Texas Organic Farmers and Gardener Association (TOFGA), provides a wealth of education and insight into the world of organic and sustainable agriculture...."
"...horse slaughter plant operated in Kaufman, plant operators bought the small North Texas city a large American flag to place outside the American Legion Hall. In retrospect, that flag did nothing but to make "a mockery of our values," former Kaufman mayor Paula Bacon told the Texas Senate Committee on Agriculture & Rural Affairs...."
"...So why has Democrat Kinky Friedman jumped into the agriculture commissioner's race? An interesting conversation with Kinky's campaign consultant Colin Strother (best known locally as ex-campaign boss for Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin) fills in a lot of the blanks...."
"...Shocking no one, Houston Mayor Bill White has jumped from the Senate to the Governor's race in the Democratic primary, triggering Hank Gilbert to withdraw to run for Agriculture Commissioner. For the superstitious, it's snowing down on the coast..."
"...In fact, the Senate is running well behind the number of committee meetings it had held by this time last session, and several committees (Agriculture & Rural Affairs, Business & Commerce, Criminal Justice, Economic Development, International Relations and Trade, and Natural Resources) have yet to meet...."
"...City gardening with political overtones isn't a new idea. Urban agriculture has been around since the 18th century; its popularity waxes and wanes with economic tides..."
"...Under the new law, farmers must be licensed by Vermont's Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets; hemp must be grown from seeds provided by the ag secretary, on land the secretary has approved for hemp production. And farmers must agree to submit to random inspection by the ag department and/or state police...."
"...It's a meeting place between tropical and subtropical ecosystems, and serves as a last frontier for many of these species."-- Without a Drop of Water If land use is a simmering topic along the border, the debate over water allocation is boiling. This is a region, after all, fond of the old saw often attributed to author Mark Twain: "Whisky is for drinking, water is for fighting." Water is the lifeblood of this region -- shaping not just the environment but industry, agriculture, and urban development as well..."
"...The TAHC soon logged a call from the office of state Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, a member of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee, acting on behalf of his constituents, the owners of the Diamond R..."
"...Of the two candidates, Combs is a lot more appealing than Rylander. Barring some major misstep in her campaign against Democrat Pete Patterson (see story), Combs, 52, will be the next agriculture commissioner..."
"...According to statistics cited by panelists Jane Francisco of Good Housekeeping, Sam Kass of Innit, Dana Gunders of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Jennifer Benuso of Whirlpool, 40% of food that passes through the supply chain isn’t eaten. 25% of the water used in agriculture production is used to grow food that is never eaten..."
"...At long last, the Reagan revolution has reached the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). Dominated through most of the 1980s by populist politician- turned radio commentator Jim Hightower, the agency had little chance to deregulate when everybody else was doing it..."
"...The Austin City Council will soon be asked to revisit what it means to be an urban farm. For everything from increased access to locally produced foods to reduced crime rates, many look to urban farms to resolve issues of food insecurity in low-income neighborhoods. Austin's burgeoning urban agriculture movement provides ample opportunities to positively impact the community at large..."
"...In May 2011, Council members created the position of a sustainable urban agriculture and community gardens coordinator within the city's Parks and Recreation Department, and Jake Stewart was tapped for the job. By that point Stewart was an Austin vet..."
"...The first step, argues Dr. Dev Shrestha, associate professor of agriculture at the University of Idaho, is to incorporate robotics into the work of farming..."
"...Inspired by sustainable agriculture advocate Joel Salatin of Polyface farm in Virginia, Alexander utilizes organic and sustainable practices on his farm but declines to have his property certified organic because he doesn't want the government or any other agency involved in his business. He's a hardworking, self-reliant Christian man who chooses to homeschool his children and make his own vegetable oil fuel to run the farm machinery...."
"...It's part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services, which originated as the Bureau of Biological Survey in 1915 to kill predators for the livestock industry..."
"...But the food system is undergoing a shift, so too should food media, and these writers are interested in bridging the gap between these two kinds of writing, doing work that is both consumer focused and centered on policy. Politico senior food and agriculture policy reporter Helena Bottemiller-Evich talked about a 3,000-word piece she wrote about the history of agricultural research; she thought no one would read it but it’s totally caught on, “Because we told the story in a way that connected people with the way they consumed packaged salads..."
"...Or, not getting to the right people. So we have this weird situation of people starving and people overweight at the same time as a result of the same system." Pollan goes on to explain the more drought-resistant tendencies of organic soil, but he stresses that of utmost importance is the concept of diversified agriculture..."
"...Let us take, as just one example, agriculture. By 2007, technological innovations in agriculture were so efficient that a Kansas farmer with 7,000 acres required only two full-time year-round employees..."
"...The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is charged with the responsibility of evaluating whether altering a crop so that it produces its own pesticide is safe for both the environment and human consumption. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) checks to see if the plant grows the way the manufacturer says it will..."
"...Though little known, the budget-writing LBB is a powerful, bipartisan outfit which Sharp is a natural choice to lead; he was, after all, the state's chief revenue estimator and tax collector for eight years. Even the conservative Farm Bureau has endorsed Sharp over his GOP opponent, sitting Agriculture Commissioner Rick Perry..."
"...The vision developer Sean Garretson has for the site, currently a tangle of mesquite and chigger-filled tall grasses, is a far cry from the boxy subdivisions that have devoured farmland between Austin and Manor. Instead, it will combine sustainable agriculture, cooperative ownership and governance, and the preservation of local culture in one 24-acre parcel – if all the moving pieces fit into place...."
"...In its fifth year, the SXSW Eco Conference offers a collaborative forum for sorting out the tricky crossroads of ecology and economy, biology and technology, policy and activism. From cellular agriculture to reproductive rights, the conversations on how to save the (big, big) world are really getting good...."
"...Yet she is also a staunch defender of process, tradition, and fairness in Senate operations. Under Van de Putte, we can honestly see the upper chamber returning to the collegiate atmosphere of restrained diplomacy that, until recently, defined its approach to lawmaking. Agriculture Commissioner (DEM): Hugh Fitzsimons..."
"...Widely regarded as a pillar of innovative and sustainable urban agriculture, the closure of HausBar Farms (see “Communication Breakdown,” April 12) has sparked a vigorous debate on appropriate land use in East Austin. Shut down by the city for unintentionally operating without proper permits, the narrative of HausBar Farms shed a harsh light on an outdated and confusing urban farm code in desperate need of revision..."
"...AC: Can sustainable agriculture really help bridge the gap between obesity and starvation- such as your book, Stuffed and Starved, discusses- leading to a more balanced scenario? How do organics, specifically, play a role in this?..."
"... George Nash of the U.S. Department of Agriculture was on hand at last week's Travis Co..."
"...Several states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture all have some type of standard that must be met before food can be labeled "organic," but at present, nongovernmental certifying agencies tend to have the highest criteria...."
"...Ever in the thick of a fray, Texas is down in the dirt with the fast pack. Here are some facts about organic agriculture in Texas:..."
"...In a state like Texas, where agriculture forms the second-largest industry, Whole Foods' effort to winnow out the results of controversial biotechnology marks a trend that could have widespread impacts, not just for consumers but for big business and the environment as well...."
"..."Most Americans accept science in agriculture not as something that is creating a monster but as something that is making food better and safer."..."
"...Want a great selection of discussion groups? The sysops will take requests for any of the more than 600 FidoNet groups in existence. As far as the environmentally related goes, they already have a handful: ecology, fishing, gardening, sustainable agriculture, and home power, which recently has covered subjects such as convection heat, diesel fuel alternatives, and natural gas generation...."
"...Texas Wants in on the Hemp Game: In its interim report released last week, the Texas House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock urged lawmakers to make way for the legalization of industrial hemp as bipartisan consensus continues to emerge on the subject at the state and national levels. "While hemp has the potential to be a major boon to the Texas economy, the window for maximum market capture is narrowing as more than half of the states have already enacted hemp legislation, [and] at least 19 are actively cultivating," the report reads...."