After 15 long years of research and public input, the Environmental Protection Agnecy (EPA) finalized urgently needed improvements to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) on September, 2015. With the political landscape now in flux, the agency is facing strong push-back from Big Ag representatives on these new farmworker protections.
In late September, California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) released a draft plan for protecting schoolchildren in agricultural communities from drift-prone, health-harming pesticides. The agency's proposed pesticide use rules don't do nearly enough — luckily, some farmers are already doing much more.
In brief, these are the proposed new rules:
Regenerative agriculture can reverse climate change within our lifetime. That's the inspiring, well-documented message of longtime farmer and author Eric Toensmeier in his new book The Carbon Farming Solution.
Can the marketplace help reform the food system and bring justice to farmworkers? Yes it can. And it just did!
Along with partners across the country, PAN is strongly opposing the recent raids and deportations of immigrant families from Central America. As you may have heard, these Department of Homeland Security (DHS) raids are taking place in communities across Texas, Georgia and North Carolina. And they represent the antithesis of the immigration reform we so urgently need.
Monday was a great day for the nation’s two million farmworkers and their families. On September 28, EPA released its long-awaited improved rules for the protection of farmworkers from on-the-job exposure to hazardous pesticides.
While we didn't get everything we hoped for, the rules are now much, much stronger than they've been for the past 20 years. And that’s a real victory!
Earlier this month I had the great pleasure of participating in a two-day Soil Not Oil conference in Richmond, California.
Citrus groves account for quite a bit of chlorpyrifos use — a highly hazardous insecticide that's been banned from use in homes and on pets because of risks to children's developing brains. It also has serious impacts on farmers, farmworkers and rural communities and for years, we've been calling to restrict its use in agriculture as well.
As a California resident and taxpayer, I’m more interested in protecting my state’s soil, air, water and pollinators than supporting corporate profits from agriculture.
Earlier this month, Congress started the long, complex and very political process of deciding how funds will be spent next year for "food, agriculture and rural development." In other words, exactly which parts of the Farm Bill will get our tax dollars next year.
Innovative farmers and ranchers have, for generations, deliberately invested in building soil health. And this year — with the UN’s International Year of Soils and implementation of California's Healthy Soil Initiative well underway — we'll be pressing policymakers to turn innovation for healthy soil into standard practice.
The timing could not be better. Widespread implementation of practices that build and protect soil health is the only certain thing that will ensure farmers’ ability to both mitigate and adapt to worsening conditions associated with climate change. California's historic drought provides a dramatic case in point.