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January 05, 2009

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jim foster

I have both an educational and professional background in agriculture and I come from a western state (Montana). I was quite taken aback with the selection of Vilsack for several reasons.
First lets remind folks that the Department of Agriculture not only is involved in developing farm policy (both production related as well as economic)with all of its ramifications on the environment, nutrition animal welfare etc... BUT...The United States Forest Service is within the department of Agriculture and as such the secretary of Agriculture is reponsible for vast and diverse federal land holdings These federal holdings were put under tremendous stress by the Bush abdministration who as was their want allowed industry to set policy... which was simply disaterous in much of the intermountain west and even in the Appalachian regions particularily West Virginia where mountain top removal for coal production has been a true environmental disaster.
So I guess mypoint is that while much of what Michael Pollan states is arguably correct, he too ismissing many of the criteria neccessary in the selection of the secretary of agriculture...this is not simply the people versus agri-business its much more complicated than Pollans views on food production...this post is about much more than support your local ag producers and cleaning up the food supply system it is about managing entire ecosystems around the country...rationalising and returning ag production back to a regional and locally based policy...not a centralized impractical and environmentally ruinous unresponsive and nutrionally faulty system of agri-conglomerates producing processed food based on the corn soybean complex.

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