Vilsack Visits the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Meeting

I was privileged to spend the past few days at the Inaugural Meeting of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), a well-organized group of stakeholders from around the country ranging from farmers to policy wonks (who are sometimes one in the same) working in coalition on important issues. In addition to learning an incredible amount from this crew, I was thrilled to meet dozens of NSAC members eager to see public health take a larger, more active role in drawing the links between sustainable agriculture and health. I was also encouraged that Secretary Vilsack took the time visit to the NSAC Meeting. Read More >

Farmers Can Help Re-Localize Our Energy

Pelletized grasses can provide a low-tech, renewable heating fuel.

Pelletized grasses can provide a low-tech, renewable heating fuel.

Rather than helping to produce liquid fuel (ethanol) for vehicles, a better future for some of the nation’s farms may be in growing grass for use as a heating fuel, according to Jock Gill, president of Pellet Futures, a bioenergy consultancy.

Gill spoke Saturday in State College, Pa., at the 18th annual conference of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, in a talk entitled “Getting the Miles Out: Relocalizing Energy,” in which he envisioned a “community supported energy” model similar to the increasingly popular community supported agriculture. He advocated a shift away from an energy system that involves centralized control of production, then distribution through a vastly inefficient electrical grid, to a system that is more locally controlled – a more democratic energy system. Read More >