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02/17/2016

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Erica Sproles

I truly enjoyed the post from Rodale and Musk. Coming from a farming state like Virginia, I am very familiar with the subject. Much of my family loves the farming life. Fortunately for us it is a much more an enjoyable experience since we are farming for ourselves instead of the public on a large scale. After reading the post I definitely have a better understanding as to why it is just so difficult to grow organically.

In reference to question 1, Rodale and Musk explain that the biggest obstacle for farmers is having the banks back them up, support and finance them. The three-year transition period to organic production is hard and largely expensive. If banks do not see other farmers transition successfully they are not willing to fund the process. Rodale and Musk propose that a program be set up that helps farmers by educating and financing them.

I think that Rodale and Musk’s proposal could work because there are so many positive and rewarding factors when farming organically for both the environment and for business. I find it sad that the banks are not seeing it that way. If banks could focus on the long run instead of right now, I’m sure farmers would have a better chance getting their support. Maybe banks should think about what food they prefer eating or feeding their family. I’m sure the healthier version is much appetizing.

Cozeth Valencia

I am also one of those people that believe and all the benefits that organic farming would bring to the country in so many different levels. So, I thought what is every farmer waiting for? I didn't realize all the complexity of the transition. I loved this article by Rodale and Musk. They do a great job in explaining the difficulties for farmers to make the transition and also offer a great solution. It would take everyone interested in the organic movement not only the farmers in petitioning these new policies to take place.

Tyler Biggs

Before reading this article, I wasn’t so sure on the topic of either the production of organic foods or the food itself. I began reading and realized that the organic food production in our country is in consumer demand but it exceeds our supply. The organic food sector is a 39.1 billion dollar market with an annual growth rate of 10 percent(the fastest-growing sector of the food industry)(Medium). Due to our limited supply of organic food production, American food companies and supermarkets attempt these demands but look closely at suppliers overseas.
Are and should the farmers resist becoming organic farmers? Personally, I believe farmers should consider taking action into becoming organic because of our low supply and demand. With the organic sector being the fastest growing , this should spark an interest in farmers. The annual output and productivity holds as a positive and successful business model. Businesses who are in demand for these organics search for farmers who demonstrate a consistent farm that’s reliable. Even though the labor costs increase, the chemical inputs decrease and leaves farmers earning more or a “premium” when they sell certified organic crops. The other upside for organic farmers is that they are viewed as supporters of healthier soil which produces positive health for people. According to a recent white paper published by the Rodale Institute, regenerative methods of organic agriculture can sequester carbon emissions, thereby helping to reduce the greenhouse effect(Medium). In the article, the author displays his travels with a board member of Chipotle, Kimbal Musk. They venture to Iowa trying to learn about farmers’ decisions on shifting to organic. The team visited conventional and organic farmers as well as a farm conference. During their visit with farmers, they studied the stories on whether or not they believe that organic is better. To their findings , it’s not relevant to which farmers are organic or not. Conventional farmers have subsidies by the government and crop insurance that backs up their risks and support them in difficult. Conventional farmers lack the support and risk management for the 3 year transition period that is required for organic certification, which cannot capture the value of an organic price. The team learned from talking to farmers is that banks are unlikely to support a farmer’s transition unless they have seen another client transition successfully. The United States is starting to see some momentum on this front, as organizations like California Certified Organic Farmers have launched support programs(Medium). Farmers who transition aren’t just facing a new set of certifications, for they are also facing new types of financing, distribution methods, and ways of thinking about their farm. The author concludes the article believing in his statement that it’s time for the USDA to help farmers transition into the organic program that would support, incentivize, and train conventional farmers to become organic farmers during the three years it takes to become certified.

Magdalene Mwangi

Good information.

Martin Buuri Kaburia

Sound reasoning

ALI

Honestly, I really do appreciate the subject because it helps the environment growing healthier and the benefits of getting more better environment by providing the organic foods that reflect on our body health and our children .I believe it's better for funding and I truly hope the banks help the environment and farmers life

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