Food Democracy Now! http://www.fooddemocracynow.org
The First 100 Days – Thank YOU! Together WE Made History!
Here at Food Democracy Now!, we’d like to thank everyone who signed the original petition and helped make Sustainable Change at the USDA possible. So far more than 94,000 Americans have signed up at Food Democracy Now! to send a unified voice that America must create a truly sustainable food system for the 21st century.
Because of your remarkable involvement, for the first time in our nation’s history we have a Secretary of Agriculture, former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, speaking about the importance of organics, local foods and nutritious school lunches.
Not only does Secretary Vilsack speak about these important issues, he understands the role that sustainable practices will have in helping family farmers meet the challenges of 21st century agriculture. With looming water and energy shortages and the possibility of feeding a world population estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050, the only logical solution that our nation can embrace is sustainability.
Fortunately, this Administration has allowed the voice of reason back into the USDA.
With the naming of Kathleen Merrigan as Deputy Secretary, President Obama has heard the voice of the people. Not only was Deputy Secretary Merrigan one of our Sustainable Dozen, but she has also had a long and distinguished career in guiding positive change in agriculture, crafting the national organic standards and serving as the director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment Program at Tufts University. We are encouraged by her depth of knowledge and experience and committment to increasing opportunities for farmers.
During the cold winter months of December, January and February, when many thought that the future of agriculture was going to continue down the same old trodden path, members of the sustainable ag, farm and food community rallied at Food Democracy Now! to call for significant changes in U.S. agricultural policies that would benefit independent family farmers, protect the environment and return the right of safe and healthy food to America’s citizens
Because of your united efforts we have gained some significant changes at the USDA and beyond. Not only was Merrigan named as the USDA Deputy Secretary, but Iowa native Doug O’Brien, also a member of the Sustainable Dozen, was chosen to serve as Merrigan’s Chief of Staff.
In addition, another member of the Sustainable Dozen, Drake University professor Neil Hamilton, a fellow Iowan, was named as an informal advisor to Secretary Vilsack.
While we’d love to take credit for their selection, really it’s a testament to your commitment in helping create an atmosphere where more sustainable choices were encouraged at the USDA. By coming together and presenting a united voice to the Administration, our community has shown what we can do when we work together towards a common goal.
Changing the Future of Agriculure
These selections will have a positive influence on the future of agriculture in the U.S., helping end the revolving door between government and corporations and returning the USDA to “The People’s Department” as originally envisioned by President Lincoln.
Now more than ever, it’s important that we continue to work together to help this Administration create positive change. And while we may sometimes disagree, it’s vital that we stay involved to educate leaders and citizens on how important sustainable solutions will be for our collective future.
Now is the time to plant the seeds for a truly sustainable food system for the 21st century. There will be trials ahead, but like all the great challenges in the history of our nation, these challenges will be met with enthusiasm and a spirit of cooperation to achieve a common goal.
At Food Democracy Now!, we firmly believe that a nation that can put a man on the moon will be able to meet the challenges of implementing sustainable practices in agriculture and other endeavors.
Sustainability is the future… It is ours to make together.
Let’s put our shoulder to the wheel.
Food Democracy Now!