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Reclaiming the future of food and farming

Paul Towers's blog

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Farmer Justice takes center stage at the CA Capitol

Rebuilding a fair and resilient farming system means giving voice to those who have often been left out. Historically underserved farmers are just that – historically and systematically shut out of financial resources, markets, and technical assistance, among other opportunities. A group of farmers and farm allies across California seeking to change that lent their voices to some events at the State Capitol last week.

Paul Towers
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California legislators get a food & farm report card

As the new legislative year kicked off in January, PAN joined food and farm groups across California in distributing a report card for California legislators, scoring them on their support of food & farming legislation from the previous year. And while nearly half of legislators earned a 100% ranking, the results belie efforts by legislators to advance more transformative policies.

Paul Towers
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Farmers of color to get their fair share?

Last week, legislation to address historic racial inequities in agriculture cleared a major hurdle in California. The Farmer Equity Act passed with just a few dissenting votes, 72-4. PAN has been supporting the farmers leading the charge on this bill, following their lead on how to begin addressing the long history of systemic racism in agriculture.

Paul Towers
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Pesticide drift works overtime

California officials are close to finalizing new policies that could result in some of the strongest rules on pesticide use near schools. But will they fall short? Until April 4, California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is accepting public comment on a proposal to limit the use of the most hazardous pesticides near schools — but thanks to loopholes, this proposal doesn't offer nearly enough protection for schoolkids.

Paul Towers
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Don't confuse baby steps in Hawai'i with meaningful action

First steps are meaningful, depending on context. When my now 15-month-old took her first steps earlier this year, we celebrated her progress. It was a major milestone in her early life. But Hawai’i regulators don’t deserve the same kudos for their recent announcement intended to quell concerns about pesticide use on the islands.

Paul Towers
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Wins for bees in the Golden State

Earlier this month, dozens of pesticide and industrial agriculture lobbyists filled the halls of California’s Capitol as they worked to defeat the Pollinator Protection Act (SB 1282) on the Senate floor. If passed, this bill that would have created new protections for bees from harmful pesticides, along with ensuring that seeds and plants pre-treated with neonicotinoid pesticides be labeled as such. But unfortunately, pesticide industry interests prevailed — a deeply disappointing turn of event for those of us working to protect bees.

Paul Towers

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