Business Profile: “Climate-Friendly” Shepherd’s Grain. The Portland-based company – founded in 2002 – sells “climate-friendly”premium wheat flours…and also “sells” the story of no-till production. In addition to distributing its products to hundreds of “bakeries, restaurants, and markets” in the region, the company’s flour is also being used by national companies such as Krusteaz and Smuckers. This #goodread was written by Patrick Mazza and appears in Grist.
There’s a story within the story, too: this is one of a series of producer profiles funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
Editor’s Note: To learn more about no-till and conservation agriculture, read our interview with UC’s Jeff Mitchell, a researcher/advocate who has encouraged an increasing number of producers to develop farm systems that are closer to the kinds of systems found in nature. Conservation agriculture, also known as no-till/minimum-till farming, is his passion.
Jeff emphasizes that conservation agriculture is not a single practice, but rather, a combination of “principles, practices and ideas for production agriculture” that he and others promote. While adoption practices vary by crops and across regions, the practice is gaining in popularity in the U.S. Government data suggests that nearly 40 percent “of combined acreage of corn, soybean, wheat, and cotton were in no-till/ strip-till in 2010-11, with adoption rates higher for some crops (e.g., soybeans) and some regions.”
Access to Limited Resources Fueling Conflict on Land and Sea. Drought and overgrazing are contributing to increased conflict in Kenya…and are also impacting wildlife conservation. Interesting piece from the The Economist. h/t Allison Aubrey.
The BBC’s Alastair Leithead has also written about the issue and Anthony Irungu has put together a compelling photo essay: Kenyans share their dinner to save livestock. On the sea, climate change – and increasing nationalism – may lead to “global fish wars.” Ian Johnston for The Independent.
May Contains Nuts: Podcast Explores Life with Food Allergies. Two-part mini-series explores how food allergies can impact your relationship with food…and people. Some harrowing first-hand accounts. From The Sporkful, hosted by Dan Pashman. (Part one of the story – an interview with Amy Pearl, who suddenly developed a meat allergy – was originally shared on Radiolab).
Some Organic Farming Pioneers in California Retiring…and Looking for Successors. A younger generation is stepping in. Terrific piece by Ezra David Romero for NPR. Editor’s Note: Learn more about beginning farmers in California by reading our Q&A with Mary Kimball of the Center for Land-Based Learning. Don’t miss this story about The Cannery, which is the nation’s first “agrihood” focused on beginning farmers.
UC Davis Seeks Vineyard Manager. Here’s a dream job for a lucky individual. If you’re interested, act quickly: the application deadline is Feb 23.
Have a great day!