For the majority of the week I’ve been here in Columbus OH. for the Acres USA conference. It’s the national Eco-Agriculture conference for the United States.
There were many great sessions by multiple speakers, the highlights were the keynote sessions by some familiar names to the Eco-Agricultural community.
Winners & Losers in an Acres U.S.A. Economy
In this first keynote lecture of the week, Mr. Salatin gave us a vision. An idea of what the world would be like in a Eco-Ag economy. The biggest losers in such a world would be the large chemical companies, big pharma, and industrial agriculture. The winners are the small farmer’s, homesteaders, and local markets.
My favorite quote from his session was, “This society would reward the Jeffersonian intellectual agrarian.”
Think of what kind of world it would be if people cared more about their food than what’s on HBO?
Dirt in Our Brains
This was Dr. Mercola’s first time speaking at Acres, and he did it well. Farmer’s are a different kind of audience than most, but that didn’t stop him from doing a great job. He gave a few pointers on optimizing gut health, exercise, and diet. One specific difference between us and his usual audiences is that Organic farmer’s live a more robust, active life than the typical person.
An interesting point he made was the idea of R.A.P. A simple idea: Replicate Ancestral Practices. It’s what happens when you do the things that your biological ancestors did, such as: running across uneven ground barefoot, sprinting, lifting heavy weights, and leading an active lifestyle.
Myths of Safe Pesticides
– Andre Leu
As Organic farmers we know the dangers of pesticides. However, lately they have taken a bit of a backseat to the latest information about GMOs.
The primary takeaway from this session is that pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides are not well tested. There is very little research done into their long term effects, unfortunately right now we are seeing their results here and now, increasing mental disabilities in children, genetic disorders, cancer, etc.
His appeal was that we remember why we are raising food without these sprays. That we would insist these chemicals be closely tested, not for our sakes, but for the reason farmers do anything: the sake of future generations.
According to recent studies, one in every fifty children has autism, likely by 2025 it will be one in two. Childhood leukemia is on the rise, particularly in agricultural areas where exposure to these toxins is greater.
Going to the conference is good to get away, but it’s also good to see what the latest topics and research is. In some cases it’s a good reminder why we’re the oddballs.
It was an encouraging, instructing, and sobering experience. I look forward to seeing what I take back from next year’s conference!