Francis Thicke's "New Vision for Food and Agriculture" in Iowa

Democratic candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Francis Thicke is touring the state to talk about his just-published book, “A New Vision for Food and Agriculture.” He’s scheduled to speak in Oskaloosa on June 29, Marion on June 30, Storm Lake on July 1, Dubuque on July 6 and Mason City on July 13. All events are at 6:30 pm; click here for location details.

Thicke provides a brief outline of his vision on his campaign website:

   * Encourage the installation of farmer-owned, mid-size wind turbines on farms all across Iowa, to power farms, and help to power the rest of Iowa. I will lead in advocating feed-in tariffs, which are agreements with power companies that will allow farmers to sell their excess power, finance their turbines, and make a profit from their power generation.

   * Make Iowa farms more energy self-sufficient and put more biofuel profits in farmers’ pockets by refocusing Iowa’s biofuel investment on new technologies that will allow farmers to produce biofuels on the farm to power farm equipment, and sell the excess for consumer use.

   * Create more jobs and economic development by supporting local food production. We can grow more of what we eat in Iowa. Locally-grown food can be fresher, safer and healthier for consumers, and will provide jobs to produce it. I will reestablish the Iowa Food Policy Council to provide guidance on how to connect farmers to state institutional food purchases and greater access to consumer demand for fresh, locally-grown produce.

   * Expose predatory practices by corporate monopolies. We need Teddy Roosevelt-style trust busting to restore competition to agricultural markets. I will work with Iowa’s Attorney General and the Justice Department to ensure fair treatment for farmers.

   * Reestablish local control over CAFOs, and regulate them to keep dangerous pollutants out of our air and water, and protect the health, quality of life, and property values of our citizens.

   * Promote wider use of perennial and cover crops to keep Iowa’s rich soils and fertilizer nutrients from washing into our rivers.

Not only is Thicke highly qualified to implement this vision, he walks the walk, as you can see from a brief video tour of his dairy farm.

Near the beginning of that clip, Thicke observes, “Energy is a big issue in agriculture. We are highly dependent upon cheap oil if you look at agriculture almost anywhere in this country. And that’s one of the big issues in my campaign: how we can make agriculture more energy self-sufficient, make our landscape more resilient, and make our agriculture more efficient as well.” It’s sad that our current secretary of agriculture has shown no leadership on making this state’s farm economy more self-sufficient. Using renewable energy to power Iowa farm operations isn’t pie in the sky stuff: it’s technologically feasible and is a “common-sense way” to cut input costs.

I highly recommend going to hear Thicke speak in person, but you can listen online in some of the videos available on Thicke’s YouTube channel. The campaign is on Facebook here and on the web at Thickeforagriculture.com. If you want to volunteer for or help his campaign in any way, e-mail Thicketeam AT gmail.com. Here’s his ActBlue page for those who can make a financial contribution.

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Events coming up this week

Post a comment or send an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if I’ve left out any significant event.

Tuesday, November 18:

The Center of Sustainable Communities will hold an Open House from 4 pm to 7 pm at COSC’s Building, 219 Fifth Street, Historic Valley Junction in West Des Moines. If you are already a member or sponsor, or if you are considering joining our efforts, this is a great opportunity to learn more about COSC and connect with others involved in sustainable initiatives and green building. Visit www.icosc.com as details develop.

Reservations are due for the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa’s Crossroads luncheon on Friday, November 21 (see below).

Wednesday, November 19:

The Conservation Districts of Iowa annual conference will be held Nov 19-20, 2008, at the Hotel Gateway in Ames. This year we’ll focus on conservation planning for the extremes. More details will be available soon, but registration is now available at http://www.cdiowa.org/events.h…

Thursday, November 20:

The 2008 Midwest Rural Agricultural Safety and Health Forum will be held November 20-21 at the Radisson Quad City Plaza in Davenport, IA. We will explore how federal policy affects the health and economics of rural areas, trends in the agricultural work force, injury prevention, child safety, and translation of research to practice for the NIOSH tractor safety initiative. Call to register today – 1-800-551-9029 or go to: http://www.public-health.uiowa…

Friday, November 21:

The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa is holding a Crossroads luncheon:

“Christian Privilege: Do Jewish Students Feel Marginalized in Public Schools?”

Michelle Garland, PhD Candidate of Multicultural Education and International Curriculum Studies, Iowa State University

What is Christian Privilege ?  How does the public school institution ensure the perpetuation of Christian Privilege ?  What are the perceptions and feelings surrounding the public school experience of students from the Jewish faith?

The Crossroads monthly luncheon is Friday, November 21 from 11:45 am – 1 pm at Plymouth Congregational Church, 42nd & Ingersoll Avenue , Des Moines .

Reservations are required to attend Crossroads and must be received by noon on Tuesday, November 18.  Cost is $8 and is payable at the door.

If you make a reservation and are unable to attend, payment for the reservation is appreciated.

For more information or to make a reservation, call (515) 279-8715 or email tiaiowa@dwx.com.

Saturday, November 22:

Biodiesel Homebrew Introductory Class

Learn the basics of how to turn vegetable oil into low-cost, environmentally friendly biodiesel in this hands-on workshop, at Iowa Valley Community College Nov 22, 9 am – Noon. Learn from a guy who has already run his vehicles thousands of trouble-free miles on homemade renewable fuels. During this fast-paced workshop, you will learn all aspects of Biodiesel production, from acquiring quality feedstock to assembling your own processor. Instructor, Steve Fugate is from Greenwold Biofuels.

Course #: AGR 9386 002; cost = $20. Location: Iowa Valley Community College Grinnell Room 115.

Instr: Steve Fugate.  To register: http://www.iavalley.cc.ia.us/i… Sponsored by the Imagine Grinnell Energy Program, (http://gotoplanb.net/gapri)

Join Iowa Rivers Revival on Saturday, November 22, for Iowa River Revival’s first River Congress at the Des Moines Botanical Center (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.).  Participants will help to develop a River Bill of Rights that will set the standard for river quality expectations and practices statewide.  The Congress is an opportunity to collaborate with individuals and groups across the state to organize an advocacy agenda for the 2009 legislative session working towards preserving and enhancing Iowa’s rivers and streams.  Registration is open to individuals and organizations interested in improving the quality of Iowa’s rivers and streams.  Registration cost is $10 for meals and beverages. Please register by Friday, November 8.  For registration and more information, visit www.iowarivers.org.

Iowa Rivers Revival is also organizing a film screening:

Join Iowa Rivers Revival for a private screening of the award-winning documentary,  FLOW.  

·         Water is FAST becoming an unregulated, monopolized and commodified resource world-wide.

·         Water is now a $400 billion global industry – 3rd behind electricity and oil.

·         You thought gas prices were high…consider paying $9 for a gallon of water.  The average American uses 150 gallons of water a day – people in developing countries are lucky to find 5.

·         We can find alternatives for oil dependence – we simply cannot survive without safe, clean water.

   * Water is being exploited in areas where water is scare and often unsafe..and in some cases only available to those who can afford to buy it.

Don’t  miss your chance to see this powerful documentary!  Reserve your seat today at rlehman@iowarivers.org.

Watch the trailer:  http://www.flowthefilm.com/tra…

FLOW- Award-winning documentary comes to Des Moines

Can anyone really own water?  Join Iowa Rivers Revival on Saturday, November 22, 2008 (7PM) at the Iowa Historical Building for an exclusive Iowa screening of Irena Salina’s award-winning documentary FLOW – an investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century – The World Water Crisis.

FLOW will be shown as a fundraising effort in support of Iowa Rivers Revival’s education and program initiatives that have been developed to raise awareness about river quality and conservation and the many opportunities and benefits provided to us by rivers.  IRR is a non-profit organization that relies primarily on private contributions.  Tickets will be sold for $20 in advance or $25 at the door.  A student rate is available for $10 a ticket.

FLOW

http://www.flowthefilm.com/tra…

Iowa State Historical Building

600 E Locust St

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Doors Open at 6:30 PM

Movie starts at 7:00PM

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Events coming up this weekend and next week

Things have slowed down quite a bit since the election, so my calendar of events is not very full. However, there are probably lots of interesting things going on around the state that I don’t know about. Please send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) or post a comment if you know of important events I’ve left out.

Saturday, November 15:

From One Iowa:

Stand up and make your voice heard!

Last week’s historic victory for change was bittersweet with the heartbreaking passage of state initiatives denying gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry. Join us this Saturday to show your support for marriage equality in Iowa! LGBT people and our allies will gather across the county in solidarity to show support for equality – make your voice heard in Iowa!

Rally for Equality!

Saturday, November 15, 12:30 PM

Des Moines City Hall

400 Robert Ray Dr, Des Moines

With Remarks from:

Matt McCoy, State Senator

Alicia Claypool, Chair, Iowa Civil Rights Commission (for identification purposes only)

Ben Stone, Executive Director, ACLU of Iowa

Ed Fallon, Former State Representative

Rev. Mark Stringer, Minister, First Unitarian Church

Tim and Sean McQuillan, the only same-sex couple who legally married in Iowa

Linda Trudeau, President, Ames PFLAG

Brad Clark, Campaign Director, One Iowa

For more information contact One Iowa at organize@oneiowa.org or 515-288-4019

Tuesday, November 18:

The Center of Sustainable Communities will hold an Open House from 4 pm to 7 pm at COSC’s Building, 219 Fifth Street, Historic Valley Junction in West Des Moines. If you are already a member or sponsor, or if you are considering joining our efforts, this is a great opportunity to learn more about COSC and connect with others involved in sustainable initiatives and green building. Visit www.icosc.com as details develop.

Reservations are due for the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa’s Crossroads luncheon on Friday, November 21 (see below).

Wednesday, November 19:

The Conservation Districts of Iowa annual conference will be held Nov 19-20, 2008, at the Hotel Gateway in Ames. This year we’ll focus on conservation planning for the extremes. More details will be available soon, but registration is now available at http://www.cdiowa.org/events.h…

Thursday, November 20:

The 2008 Midwest Rural Agricultural Safety and Health Forum will be held November 20-21 at the Radisson Quad City Plaza in Davenport, IA. We will explore how federal policy affects the health and economics of rural areas, trends in the agricultural work force, injury prevention, child safety, and translation of research to practice for the NIOSH tractor safety initiative. Call to register today – 1-800-551-9029 or go to: http://www.public-health.uiowa…

Friday, November 21:

The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa is holding a Crossroads luncheon:

“Christian Privilege: Do Jewish Students Feel Marginalized in Public Schools?”

Michelle Garland, PhD Candidate of Multicultural Education and International Curriculum Studies, Iowa State University

What is Christian Privilege ?  How does the public school institution ensure the perpetuation of Christian Privilege ?  What are the perceptions and feelings surrounding the public school experience of students from the Jewish faith?

The Crossroads monthly luncheon is Friday, November 21 from 11:45 am – 1 pm at Plymouth Congregational Church, 42nd & Ingersoll Avenue , Des Moines .

Reservations are required to attend Crossroads and must be received by noon on Tuesday, November 18.  Cost is $8 and is payable at the door.

If you make a reservation and are unable to attend, payment for the reservation is appreciated.

For more information or to make a reservation, call (515) 279-8715 or email tiaiowa@dwx.com.

Saturday, November 22:

Biodiesel Homebrew Introductory Class

Learn the basics of how to turn vegetable oil into low-cost, environmentally friendly biodiesel in this hands-on workshop, at Iowa Valley Community College Nov 22, 9 am – Noon. Learn from a guy who has already run his vehicles thousands of trouble-free miles on homemade renewable fuels. During this fast-paced workshop, you will learn all aspects of Biodiesel production, from acquiring quality feedstock to assembling your own processor. Instructor, Steve Fugate is from Greenwold Biofuels.

Course #: AGR 9386 002; cost = $20. Location: Iowa Valley Community College Grinnell Room 115.

Instr: Steve Fugate.  To register: http://www.iavalley.cc.ia.us/i… Sponsored by the Imagine Grinnell Energy Program, (http://gotoplanb.net/gapri)

Join Iowa Rivers Revival on Saturday, November 22, for Iowa River Revival’s first River Congress at the Des Moines Botanical Center (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.).  Participants will help to develop a River Bill of Rights that will set the standard for river quality expectations and practices statewide.  The Congress is an opportunity to collaborate with individuals and groups across the state to organize an advocacy agenda for the 2009 legislative session working towards preserving and enhancing Iowa’s rivers and streams.  Registration is open to individuals and organizations interested in improving the quality of Iowa’s rivers and streams.  Registration cost is $10 for meals and beverages. Please register by Friday, November 8.  For registration and more information, visit www.iowarivers.org.

Iowa Rivers Revival is also organizing a film screening:

Join Iowa Rivers Revival for a private screening of the award-winning documentary,  FLOW.  

·         Water is FAST becoming an unregulated, monopolized and commodified resource world-wide.

·         Water is now a $400 billion global industry – 3rd behind electricity and oil.

·         You thought gas prices were high…consider paying $9 for a gallon of water.  The average American uses 150 gallons of water a day – people in developing countries are lucky to find 5.

·         We can find alternatives for oil dependence – we simply cannot survive without safe, clean water.

   * Water is being exploited in areas where water is scare and often unsafe..and in some cases only available to those who can afford to buy it.

Don’t  miss your chance to see this powerful documentary!  Reserve your seat today at rlehman@iowarivers.org.

Watch the trailer:  http://www.flowthefilm.com/tra…

FLOW- Award-winning documentary comes to Des Moines

Can anyone really own water?  Join Iowa Rivers Revival on Saturday, November 22, 2008 (7PM) at the Iowa Historical Building for an exclusive Iowa screening of Irena Salina’s award-winning documentary FLOW – an investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century – The World Water Crisis.

FLOW will be shown as a fundraising effort in support of Iowa Rivers Revival’s education and program initiatives that have been developed to raise awareness about river quality and conservation and the many opportunities and benefits provided to us by rivers.  IRR is a non-profit organization that relies primarily on private contributions.  Tickets will be sold for $20 in advance or $25 at the door.  A student rate is available for $10 a ticket.

FLOW

http://www.flowthefilm.com/tra…

Iowa State Historical Building

600 E Locust St

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Doors Open at 6:30 PM

Movie starts at 7:00PM

Continue Reading...
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