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The Most Impacting Food & Ag Discovery of the Century

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Touch the Soil News #331 Do we really know why food has to travel thousands of miles? Why does food on an average dinner plate have to be a concoction that may be sourced from several continents? For most of us, we think that the answer to this question is simply that it cannot be produced locally. Research at the University of California at Merced under the direction of Professor Elliott Campbell has just proved us all wrong. Using satellite images and soil data banks across the nation, it was discovered that 90 percent of Americans could be fed entirely by food grown or raised within 100 miles of their…

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Paying Farmers not to Farm Eco-Sensitive Land

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Touch the Soil News #309 This year the USDA is celebrating 30 years of the CRP (Conservation Reserve Program). In prior decades, breaking out land for farming was not particularly eco-sensitive. Once the politics worked out, it was decided that the best plan was to give incentives to farmers to voluntarily not farm the land and plant it back to native species – and allow wildlife to return. The lands targeted for the program were often hilly farms with excessive erosion and key to wildlife and wetland restoration. The payments are minimal – often between $35 and $45 per acre. The government put a statutory cap on the number of…

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Holiday Spirit – Former Football Star Now Farms for the Hungry

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Touch the Soil News #244 Recently, journalist Andrew Amelinckx put together a story for Modern Farmer Magazine on seven (7) professional athletes that are also farmers. Featured in the story was Jason Brown. Brown played for the St. Louis Rams and during his career was the highest paid center in the NFL. Jason Brown left football in 2012. He now owns a 1,000 acre farm in Louisberg, North Carolina. The first part of his crops go to local food banks. In 2012, brown left football to farm. Having never been a farmer and knowing little about farming, Brown started learning about his new profession by first watching YouTube “farming” videos.…

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The Battle to Control What We Think About Food

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Touch the Soil News #219 We’ve all heard the expression putting a “Spin” on information or truth. The “spin” essentially means that by turning and twisting information, you can drop the truth and add false ingredients. We were particularly interested in a report that just came out called “Spinning Food.” The upshot of the report is that Industrial food companies create “Front Groups” that look like legitimate enterprises, but are used to put a “Spin” on the story of food. The authors of the report include Kari Hamerschlag, Anna Lappe and Stacy Malkan with support from Friends of the Earth. Cover of the special Spinning Food report (courtesy of Friends…

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Quotes to Raise Your Food and Agriculture IQ

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Touch the Soil News #211 One of the things we follow is the emergence of a world in which food is less than abundant. It’s a Some of the best sources of information about this topic come from Investment and Venture Capital – viewing food and agriculture as arenas with tremendous investment opportunity. What makes them different is that they are putting their money where their mouth is – pouring billions of dollars into a convergence of food need and limited supply. One such company is Anterra Capital located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Anterra is backed by two of the world’s largest privately held financial institutions – Rabobank and Fidelity…

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Farmland – Putting Gold to Shame

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Touch the Soil News #193 An amazing set of numbers has come across our desks relative to farmland in general and farmland in England in the limelight. The statistics and information following is excerpted from a 9/22/15 story in The Guardian by Patrick Collinson. The Guardian is a UK publication that ranks as one of the top news agencies in the world. It is official, farmland in England is the most valuable farmland in the world. English farmland is not only valuable, but its value has doubled in the last five years. As an investment, its growth in value has outperformed the UK stock market by 50 percent and outperformed…

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The Cartoon Adventures of Peter Puffin and Freddie Frog

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Touch the Soil News #167 Let us introduce you to Peter Puffin and Freddie Frog. They will be with us once a week as they explore the food-chain world. Peter and Freddie will share their non-human perspectives. Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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When it Comes to Food – The Three Big Ominous Shadows Humanity Faces (Part 1 of 3)

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Touch the Soil News # 161 An old wisdom says big future events cast big shadows in the present. This is not trying to predict the future, but simply looking at the shadows showing up on the paths humanity has elected to travel upon. If we don’t like the shadows, humanity can choose a different path if it so chooses. One of the difficulties that arise when detecting big shadows is what to do about them. Since our readership is made up of folks with diverse backgrounds, experience and knowledge, we’ll just leave answering that question to our readers. As we present the three dilemmas, we could not assess which…

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Growing Food – Help for War Veterans Getting Back to Normal

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Touch the Soil News # 156 When a good idea hatches, it usually takes a little time for the word to get out and for a vision to take form. Back in 2012, U.S. Marine veteran Chris Brown co-founded Growing Veterans – an organization that combines sustainable farming with helping veterans re-establish some semblance of a normal life. Recently, Growing Veterans have been making news and the word is getting out. Brown, with three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, knows of the injuries veterans come home with that are physical and mental – that can lead to isolation, substance abuse, unemployment and even suicide. Turning attention to growing food and…

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Stalking Farmland Around the Globe

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Touch the Soil News # 150 The flow of money from America’s workforce into investment and retirement accounts has created one of the largest pools of capital ever to assemble itself in the world. Retirement assets alone in the U.S. today exceed $24 trillion. Combine this with wealth accumulation in other parts of society and you have an army of dollars whose appetite for more money far exceeds what the world’s borrowers and workers can deliver. As this phenomenon grows, Investors must look farther and wider for a place to extract a return. Recently, one of the world’s largest retirement and wealth investing companies TIAA-CREF announced its success in attracting billions…

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