Last Tuesday, my colleague Jordan Seger appeared on WFYI’s “No Limits” radio show. Jordan is the director of ISDA’s soil conservation division. The topic of the show was the future of agriculture, and Jordan was joined by Kim Ferraro of Hoosier Environmental Council and Laura Henderson of Growing Places Indy. John Krull of Franklin College moderated the conversation.
I had the pleasure of listening to the show live in a WFYI studio with the show’s producer and engineers. It was also great to meet Laura and Kim and visit with them briefly before and after the show.
Throughout the show, a variety of topics surfaced, from legislation to farmers’ markets to community development. Here were my key take-aways from the show.
Like Laura Henderson said, the future of agriculture needs to be polyfaced. Agriculture is a multifaceted field with many players, issues and concerns. There is not a “right” farming method, way of approaching a problem, or solution to the issues we see surfacing. We need CAFOs and the farmers’ markets. In September, I interviewed Kip Tom on my blog and he put it this way: “I and many in agriculture embrace all forms of food production, whether organic, natural, local or commercial modern agriculture. We need them all for today and tomorrow.”
Radio is a place to gain an introduction to complex topics. There were several “hot topics” brought up on the show, including the “Ag Gag” and “Right to Farm.” These are subjects that were introduced on the radio, but couldn’t be fully explored. Before you make a decision on either of these topics, talk to a farmer, read some literature from both sides, and call your senators and representatives to see where they stand.
ISDA wants to help agribusinesses and farms of all shapes and sizes as we explore the future of agriculture. Our division of soil conservation works with farmers throughout Indiana to implement stewardship programs. In the radio program, Laura Henderson mentioned our economic development team’s efforts to assess the viability of “food hubs” (or virtual farmers’ markets). The goal of our grain warehouse licensing branch is to foster a sound grain marketing infrastructure so that Indiana can continue to be a standard in grain production. ISDA recognizes that Indiana is a global leader in agriculture, and we want to make sure that continues into the future.
Have you had an opportunity to listen to the radio show? If so, what questions did you have?