Acres U.S.A.: Tractor Time

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Tractor Time #60: Talking Plants, Smart Insects and a New Farm Language

Wednesday Aug 18, 2021

On this episode we’re discussing talking plants and smart insects with entomologist and author Dr. Joe Lewis. Lewis spent his career in entomology with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service at the Tifton Campus of the University of Georgia. It was there that he worked to unlock the secrets of how plants and insects communicate with one another, particularly how plants use SOS signals to recruit beneficial insects to their defense. Based on those groundbreaking insights, Lewis and his colleagues developed holistic and sustainable approaches to pest management within agricultural systems. In 2008, along with his colleagues John A, Pickett and James H. Tumlinson, Lewis received the prestigious Wolf Prize in Agriculture. Although Lewis has published papers in many academic and scientific journals, he’s just published his first book for Acres U.S.A. It’s call A New Farm Language: How a Sharecropper’s Son Discovered a World of Talking Plants, Smart Insects, and Natural Solutions. The book tells the story of Joe Lewis’s humble beginnings as the son of an illiterate Mississippi sharecropper and the hardscrabble, yet happy childhood he spent raising chickens and growing cotton. It was on that small, rented farm, which had no electricity or indoor plumbing, that Lewis developed a fondness for nature that would set him on an unlikely path toward becoming an eminent scientist and innovator. More than a memoir, A New Farm Language is a manifesto and mission statement confronting the abuses of industrial agriculture and defending the value of strong communities and natural solutions.    

Tractor Time #56: Carey Gillam on the Monsanto Lawsuits

Tuesday Jun 01, 2021

On this episode we welcome back investigative journalist Carey Gillam. For regular listeners, Carey is a familiar name. This year, she’s been joining us each month for a segment we call Industrial Ag Watch, where she keeps us updated on the fearless reporting she does on our industrialized food system. On this episode, we’re setting aside more time to really dig into her latest book — The Monsanto Papers: Deadly Secrets, Corporate Corruption, and One Man's Search for Justice. That book is out now and you can find it at the acresusa.com bookstore. Carey is also the author of the 2017 book Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science. Whitewash won the coveted Rachel Carson Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists. And you can also go back in the archives and listen to a 2019 podcast we did with Carey about that book. Carey also works as a reporter and director of research for U.S. Right to Know. Her work frequently appears in The Guardian and she has more than 30 years of experience covering food and agricultural policies and practices. She also serves on the Freedom of Information Task Force for the Society of Environmental Journalists.  

Tractor Time Episode 51: Journalist Tom Philpott on Our Perilous Food System

Friday Feb 26, 2021

Tom Philpott is the food and ag correspondent for Mother Jones. Before that, he covered the food system for Grist. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek and the Guardian. He’s worked as a bona fide farmer and now splits his time between Austin, Texas, and North Carolina. He has a new book out from Bloomsbury Publishing. It’s called Perilous Bounty: The Looming Collapse of American Farming and How We Can Prevent It. The book is the culmination of an impressive career spent holding industry and government accountable. Perilous Journey tells the story of two U.S. farming powerhouses — California’s Central Valley and the Corn Belt of the Midwest. Through this lens, Philpott makes the case that current agricultural practices and policies are leading us down the road to environmental ruin. And yet, there’s still hope on the horizon. To find out more about Tom Philpott visit www.tomphilpott.net/ Tractor Time is brought to you by Acres U.S.A. and Barn2Door. Subscribe to our channel on YouTube, iTunes or anywhere podcasts are available. Also, find us at acresusa.com, ecofarmingdaily.com, and don’t forget to subscribe to our monthly magazine.

Tractor Time Episode 50: Dr. Vandana Shiva on the Toxic Cartels

Friday Feb 12, 2021

On this our 50th episode we welcome Dr. Vandana Shiva. A fearless advocate for peasant farmers throughout the world, Dr. Shiva is one of the most outspoken critics of industrial agriculture and its dire environmental and spiritual consequences. She is the founder of Navdanya, an India based organization that advocates for biodiversity, seed sovereignty and food independence. Navdanya runs an organic farm in the foothills of the Himalays and counts among its members millions of farmers across India, where the group has set up more than 100 seed banks. She is the recipient of many awards, including the Right Livelihood Award and the Sydney Peace Prize. She is also the author of several groundbreaking books, including Making Peace with the Earth, Soil Not Oil and Who Really Feeds the World?. Her latest book is called Oneness vs the 1%: Shattering Illusions, Seeding Freedom. In an age of growing economic inequality, globalization and relentless corporate propaganda, we need people like Dr. Shiva who are willing to stand up and speak the truth. Buy her books at acresusa.com. Use the coupon code FEBPOD for 10% off on all sales. 1 hour, 10 minutes

Tractor Time Episode 46: Ken Roseboro on GMOs

Monday Oct 12, 2020

Ken Roseboro, the editor and publisher of The Organic and Non-GMO Report, has been called “the nation’s reporter on all issues surrounding genetically modified foods” by Acres USA magazine. Ken’s articles have appeared in leading food and agriculture publications and websites such as Civil Eats, Sustainable Food News, Prepared Foods, Natural Foods Merchandiser, Food Processing, and World Grain as well as Harvest Public Media, The Huffington Post, Yahoo News, Mother Earth News, and others. He is a contributing editor to EcoWatch, Organic Connections and New Hope 360. Ken is author of Genetically Altered Foods and Your Health and The Organic Food Handbook both published by Basic Health Publications. He has spoken at many conferences including Natural Products Expo West, All Things Organic, Acres USA Conference, The Organic Farming Conference, National Heirloom Seed Expo, and others. Ken is a member of the design team of the Non-GMO Supply Working Group and a founding member of the board of directors of the Iowa Organic Association. Ken also serves on the board of directors of Soil Technologies Corporation. He appears in the award-winning documentary film, GMO OMG. In 2006, Ken received an Award of Merit from Seed Savers Exchange for his efforts to preserve genetic diversity through his publications. 1 hour, 3 minutes

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