This is my second year working with the Pesticide Action Network during the end of year giving period that so many non-profit organizations, including PAN, rely on to make their work possible in the coming months. I have been on “both sides of the ball” now and I fully understand how everyone feels when they get yet another appeal for money. However, I also recognize that this IS the season when more people are willing to make a contribution. And, I have also learned that an organization that fails to ask for support will not get it.
So, here I am — reminding us all to be patient while the organizations we support inundate us with requests. Don’t take your name off of their mailing lists in disgust. Instead, watch more carefully for the other things they ask you to do and the resources they provide. Use those metrics, among others, to determine where your support will go — and then make sure you provide that support. When you do, you become a difference maker.
Just remember, many of these organizations exist because most people don’t have enough space in their lives to do things like creating the new Pesticide Info database or pushing for a ban of chlorpyrifos. These organizations put people on salary so they can focus on trying to make these good things happen. But, if they don’t have the money, they can’t have the people. If they don’t have the people, they can’t monitor legislation and inform you when something important is going on.
And, hey… if you’re like me and you don’t like being told WHEN you should give, then take matters into your own hands. Make a budget and a schedule for your giving and send the money on your own terms. Then you can blithely ignore the additional requests for money because you’ve taken care of it. Meanwhile, you can pay more attention to the requests for action that help make change happen. It’s all part of being a difference maker.
PAN’s Communications Associate
Owner/Operator, Genuine Faux Farm, Tripoli, IA
PACTPA back on the table
The Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act (PACTPA) was re-introduced to the Senate on November 23 of this year. We are excited by the possibilities for this bill as it takes some real steps forward to reign in a dangerous tool and protect the well-being of our people and the land we live on.
The current PACTPA bill would ban organophosphate insecticides, neonicotinoid insecticides and paraquat herbicides — all dangerous pesticides that should no longer be in use. The bill would make it harder for EPA to give conditional registrations or emergency exemptions, and would make it easier to petition for the review of approved products. The bill would also require the listing of inert ingredients, which can sometimes be as dangerous as the active ingredient in pesticide products.
PACTPA is a necessary step forward. If you would like to read more about this bill, this PAN blog provides much of what you need. And, after reading, we would appreciate your support as we push to make PACTPA a law!
PAN’s Iowa connection
Pesticide Action Network is an international organization, so it makes sense that we often feature actions and present concerns to you that are global or national in nature. However, PAN North America also has campaign teams for four focus states: California, Minnesota, Hawai’i and Iowa.
Your Iowa team has been working to represent our state by maintaining connections with various Iowa-based partner organizations, keeping track of policies and legislation that matter to our state, and telling the stories of the people in the “Land Between Two Rivers.” In case you missed them, we recently published two such stories by PAN staff with Iowa connections:
Ahna Kruzic leans into her Iowa roots and makes a compelling argument that agriculture is political.
“[H]ow do we counter the stories that maintain politics as they are in our agricultural system? We tell our own. Our politics and our stories must disrupt not just the homogeneity of crops on our landscapes, but also the homogeneity of power characterizing our agriculture system.”
I weighed in with my own thought experiment, asking the question “What if we used <1% of our land differently?”
“If we took the weight of food our 15-acre farm could produce, and apply it to three 50-acre farms, you have an estimate of 170 tons of food, per season, in one county. That’s well over 16,000 tons for the state.”
We both love the land and the people of our state, just as you do, and we want to work with you to help Iowa reach its full, healthy, equitable potential. Because that potential is there. We can see it.
Paul W. Johnson Legacy
On December 2, a virtual gathering honored the memory of Paul W. Johnson, a strong advocate for sustainable agriculture in Iowa and the nation. Paul was a difference maker in his lifetime; speaking, writing and mentoring — all while actively and directly applying good stewardship practices for land in his care. He was also a public servant, spending time in the Iowa House of Representatives, as chief of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services, and as head of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
For those moments when we feel like we are too small and the problems are too big, we can look at those who have lived the life of a difference maker. That’s when we realize that people like Paul Johnson make a difference because they understand they can not do it all on their own. Paul had a gift for communicating and finding common ground to go with a passion for advocating for the land. He used those strengths to improve the world he lived in.
Reflecting on Paul’s life encouraged me to think about my own strengths and what I will bring to the table in the coming year. What strengths will you bring as we work together to reach our vision for a better Iowa?
End of year giving
Here is an opportunity for you to be a difference maker by helping to provide PAN with the resources it needs to continue doing work on your behalf in Iowa. If end of the year giving is part of what fits in your budget and your goals, take the link and give what you are willing and able to provide. Thank you!
And we have yet another chance to be a difference maker in this month’s Iowa News! Let’s tell Congress that we need to protect our children, our communities, our farmworkers, and our environment. Let them know that we think PACTPA is a step towards a better future for Iowa and the nation!