Reporting: Acres USA

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.

pitchfork

Source – earthtimes.org

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

Joel Salatin

joel salatin

Source – eventbrite.com

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

Dr. Joseph Mercola

veggies

Source – blog.anytimefitness.com

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.

hunter/gatherers

Source – mercola.fitness.com

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.

spraying

Source – guardianlv.com

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.

myths of safe pesticides

Source – acresusa.com

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.

Conclusion

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!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s