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Dairies So Big, It Is Dumbfounding

20150707110047-1 Touch the Soil News #388 There are approximately 65,000 dairy farms in the U.S. with the median size being around 900 cows. In the Western U.S., were dairies are larger, the herd size averages around 1,200 with a small number of dairies in the 10,000 plus range. The largest U.S. dairy has around 30,000 cows. [...]
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Paying $62 billion For One of the World’s Most Hated Companies

800px-Bayer-kaufhaus Touch the Soil News #387 Industrial agriculture is materially defined by the GMO seeds and toxic chemicals it uses. Bayer AG from Germany just announced on May 23, 2016 that it made an all cash offer to buy Monsanto for $62 billion. If the deal comes together, it will create the world’s largest seller of [...]
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Cluck Cluck – Rent the Chicken

RTClogo3 Touch the Soil News #386 Rent the Chicken is a newer business model for urban food. Started in 2013 by Jenn Tompkins from Pennsylvania, the model has now been franchised in 36 locations in 23 U.S. States and five (5) Canadian Provinces. Kate Fraser, a new Rent the Chicken franchise holder in Vancouver, Canada rents [...]
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The Food Chain Is Flirting With a Not-For-Profit Landscape

800px-Michelle_Obama_breaks_ground_on_White_House_Kitchen_Garden_3-20-09_1 Touch the Soil News #385 Hundreds of NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) around the world continue attacking the industrial “for-profit” food chain. And it doesn’t look like they are going to stop anytime soon. The indiscriminations arising out of for-profit corporate models - span everything from cost, environmental exploitation, toxicity, loss of diversity and failure to [...]
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The World’s First Mobile Urban Farm

untitled Touch the Soil News #383 There isn’t a day that goes by that an urban farm isn’t dislocated as the urban land rented (or used for free) is set for improvement (paving and buildings). However, in response to economies that place urbanization over food, Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana is researching a mobile alternative for [...]
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Is Something Wrong With This Picture?

Farm_auction,_Derby,_Conn_1a33835v Touch the Soil News #382 Every month, the USDA puts out numbers on what grain farmers - around the world - are going to produce for the current farming season. Remember that grains (corn, wheat, rice, etc.) are the backbone of the world’s diets both for human food and livestock feed. The USDA numbers quickly [...]
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Father of Square Foot Gardening Passes

remembering_Mel6 Touch the Soil News #381 Mel Bartholomew, the construction engineer that invented square foot gardening over forty years ago, passed away on April 28th in San Diego at the age of 84. Bartholomew is credited with bringing to the world raised garden beds with open bottoms, using lumber. Bartholomew’s vision was to find the perfect [...]
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Striving for Power Via Farm Chemicals, GMOs and Seed Patents (part 2 of 2)

12th_National_People's_Congress Touch the Soil News #380 Unlike private-sector mergers, the pending ChemChina acquisition of Syngenta will not only become a powerful market force, it will be politically charged as the Chinese Government will be the sole owner. Unlike other mergers, where the stockholders of the company being sold often get most of their payment in the [...]