Rodney Michael

Rodney Michael

  • Treely

  • United States, SC, Society Hill
Rodney Michael Society Hill, SC
Jun 10
 
Sat in on a Zoom Q&A session yesterday with Secretary Vilsack on this topic. I like the "build back better" attitude.

https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/18828-usda-aims-to-strengthen-food-and-agriculture-supply-chain

Categories: Sustainable Agriculture, News

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I also like the agendas that are proposed, but hope to see that our USDA is also setting realistic expectations. Specifically, Earl Butz is derided for many things related to corporate farming, however, because of his economies of scale policies we in America pay an average of 11% of our income for food while the rest of the world pays about 20% (at least the last time I checked the data). As we shift towards more diversified and smaller farms, food processing will rise correspondingly due to the removal of many economies of scale. Again, I'm for this diversification, but am so knowing the consequences. I'm not so sure that folks in more urban dense areas who are also voting for these policies are aware of what they are asking for. My fear: if we fail to set realistic expectations, once policies are established and they see the costs of consolidating more, smaller diversified farms and delivering into cities (and the added costs this will incur), any gains may be lost the following voting cycle. Going from 11% to 20% is nearly a 100% increase. Add to that the added tax burdens of the additional increases and we can see one why approximately 40% of French retirees and unemployed grow a certain portion of the own vegetables (this data from a Monty Don video - Ha!).

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For what it is worth, I have traveled a great deal in the military, much of it conducting disaster response planning in later years. The cost of food in many overseas locations is often a 'shocker' for first time travelers. According to this link, a basket of inorganic vegetables is over 20 euros (about 24 US dollars) https://www.french-property.com/news/money_france/prices_fruit_vegetables_2020/

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Emma Stein Petaluma, CA
Jun 11
Interesting. Is there a recording of the Q&A posted anywhere?

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I do believe it was recorded, just checked the website and don't see any mention of it, generally, recordings are published a few days after the live event... keep an eye on this webpage for updates -https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2021/06/08/usda-invest-more-4-billion-strengthen-food-system

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Emma Stein Petaluma, CA
Jun 11
Great - thanks so much. I'll keep a lookout!

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