Culture & Agriculture

a section of the American Anthropological Association

Month: January 2014

One-week Intensive Spring School on Companion Modelling Principles and Applications

*One-week intensive Spring school on Companion Modelling Principles and applications with a special focus on facilitation

24 to 28th of March 2014,
Switzerland *

Companion Modelling, or ComMod, is a participatory modelling approach that
uses role-playing games and simulation models to tackle complex issues in
the fields of renewable resources and environment management.

ComMod promotes dialogue, shared learning and collective decision-making,
strengthening the adaptive management capacity of communities facing wicked
environmental problems.

A ComMod approach is iterative and evolves with the participative process
whereby stakeholders are involved in the definition and design of the
questions, models, simulations and outputs. It involves constant back and
forth steps between the model, the field and the negotiation table.

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MESA’s Peru Summer 2014

Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture is excited to announce the Summer 2014 Program in Peru offering a Certificate in Global Agroecology  and Local Food Systems!

Visit our site to learn more!

MESA’s Peru Summer 2014 is a 6-week program that takes place from June 25th
2014 – August 6th 2014. This exciting opportunity integrates academic learning with hands-on experiences in order to equip a new generation of agrarians and food justice activists to rebuild our global food system through sustainable innovation and ancestral knowledge. The program fosters reciprocal, cross- cultural exchanges between participants and MESA Alumni Stewards, forging new links in the global network of sustainable agrarians. This program also serves to restructure travel abroad in a meaningful way.

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At the intersection of farming and Big Data

Monsanto’s scary new scheme: Why does it really want all this data?

Lina Khan of the New America Foundation writes on the implications of Monsanto’s role in “smart” farming technology and intellectual property rights.

“Agrarian Elders” and the organic sustainable food movement

The Elders of Organic Farming

This NY Times article discusses current concerns and perspectives of a U.S. based aging farmer population expressed at a recent organic farming convention at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA.


CIW announces Walmart to join Fair Food Program

World’s largest retailer officially joins Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program

Walmart representatives John Amaya (left), Tom Leech (center) and CIW’s Lucas Benitez look on as CIW’s Gerardo Reyes Chavez (far right) signs historic agreement at a Lipman Produce farm outside of Immokalee

January 16, 2014 – Putting pen to paper among the furrows of Florida’s fields, Walmart, its Florida tomato suppliers, and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers made history this afternoon by signing an agreement<> to uphold a stringent set of labor standards, rigorous enforcement mechanisms, and increased pay for farmworkers in the company’s tomato supply chain.

In attendance at the announcement, made at a tomato farm just outside Immokalee, was Alexandra Gu?queta, chair of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, who provided the perspective of that body:

It’s great to see the world’s biggest retailer, Walmart, join this kind of ground-breaking accountability arrangement. [The Program] combines law enforcement with rules agreed to by the parties which go beyond existing regulation. Together these deliver respect for human rights and better living standards for workers. read more<>

A joint press release<>, issued after the signing ceremony, outlines the incredible scope and breath of the agreement, reinforcing the Program within Florida, while working to “strengthen and expand” the gains beyond the state and to other crops.

The addition of Walmart’s mammoth market power translates into tremendous, tangible gains for upwards of 30,000 farmworkers overnight, including the additional bonus in their weekly paychecks and/or increased support for the human rights protections now already guaranteed by the Program. And, as a model for the change that can occur within an industry, the agreement marks a new chapter in the world of social responsibility within the world’s food system.

Today, more than ever before, the news highlights the indefensible resistance of another major retailer, Publix Supermarkets, which for more than 4 years has refused even to sit down with farmworkers and learn about the sea change underway in their own backyard. With this agreement, even the vapid PR twist Publix has desperately clung to, demanding, that the penny be “put in the price,” is put to rest once and for all, as the agreement does just that, building the Fair Food Premium directly into the cost Walmart pays for its tomatoes.

As we celebrate the historic news, let’s not skip a beat, and turn our eyes on all those who have refused to join, from Wendy’s, to Publix, to Kroger, and demand they hesitate no longer.

Content on behalf of Jake Ratner

CfP: University of Vermont Food Systems Summit

Reminder! Call for Papers:
University of Vermont Food Systems Summit
June 17-18, 2014
Abstract deadline: February 15, 2014

Download the Call for Papers<>

The University of Vermont (UVM) Food Systems Summit<> is an annual event drawing scholars, practitioners, and food systems leaders to engage in dialogue around the pressing food systems issues facing our world.

*   The Summit welcomes research papers related to local level responses to globalization in the food system. Research should show a connection between local level initiatives to the global context we face in a 21st century food system.
*   Up to 9 competitively selected papers will be featured during panel presentations at the Summit.
*   Authors whose papers are selected for presentation at the Summit will be eligible to submit their papers to a special issue of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD)<>

The 2014 UVM Food Systems Summit will immediately precede the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS) and the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS) joint annual meeting<> June 18-22 at the UVM campus. The UVM Food Systems Summit is an independently organized event and may be attended either alone or in combination with the AFHVS/ASFS conference.
Please see the full Call for Papers<> for submission details.

December 2013 Issue of Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment, V 35, Issue 2.

December 2013 Issue of Culture, Agriculture, Food and
Environment, V 35, Issue 2.

This issue presents a dynamic collection of articles and book reviews
tracing, among other things, the challenges to farming as a way of life, as
well as how farming is shaped as a response to many needs and influences
beyond just the production of food and materials.

A selection of the Volume’s articles is available for temporary,
free download from the Wiley website.

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