[Market-farming] Denver Post Op-ed

Sharon and Steve shopkins at tdstelme.net
Fri Aug 3 06:47:50 EDT 2007

From: "road's end farm" <organic101 at linkny.com>
> Did you actually read my post?
Dont know, many Market-farming posts take days to arrive here. But I do know 
that my files show that I have never responded to any posts from your 

The quotes of my work that you have here are in responce to a post from 
Robin in which I took the whole op-ed and inserted my thoughts. If you found 
something personal I sure did not intend it, and I doubt that it was there 
because as you point out I do not know you or anything about you.

I can only restate my opinion that the folk who operate with traditional 
organic principles are one thing and those who claim that the hoops they 
jumped through to get are all thats needed to get $30.00 per hdwt for their 
milk are something else. The percentage of the latter is, in my opinion much 
higher than you apparently believe; I think there are enough cheaters that 
the organic milk pool is diluted enough that paying double  for it is a 
rip-off of the consumer.


I made a very strong point of doing no
> such thing. I have very rarely heard other organic growers do so; and
> on the few occasions when I have, both I and other organic growers
> present have objected to it. Most of us prefer to be on good terms with
> our neighbors, not to be screaming at them.
> And I didn't say that strong wording was a crime. I objected to some of
> Jackie Avner's strong wording with some moderately strong wording of my
> own, not by calling the police.
>> In some cases she is giving too much credit to the organic producer,
>> come on
>> over and we will follow the grain delivery truck, the milk pick up
>> truck; we
>> will look at the pastures, the barns, and a bunch of stuff that will
>> show
>> that you that organic is just a word. [. . . ]
>>  if
>> you want to go buy something that carries a USDA Organic sticker go
>> ahead.........but dont expect it to be anything buit a rip off.
> And I resent being told, in effect, that I and others who I know are
> lying about our organic practices, by someone who has never met us and
> never seen our farms.
> I'm sure you can find a few unscrupulous people posing as organic who
> are lying; just as I'm sure you can find a few conventional farmers who
> are happy to poison everything that moves and some things that don't.
> But neither of these things are true of most of either group of people.
> If you know specific farmers who are claiming their product is organic
> when they are in gross violation of organic practices, then I urge you
> to report them. I don't know how you can tell by following the feed
> truck, however, unless you know for sure everything that's in the load.
> They might be hauling organic and conventional feed in the same truck,
> if it's bagged feed and bagged separately; or even if it's bulk, if the
> truck has been cleaned inbetween. I have had lime brought to my fields
> by the regular lime spreader from a conventional fertilizer company. I
> had to get a signed statement from them that, in addition to their
> ordinary cleaning procedures, the previous load (applied to a
> conventional farm) had also been lime, so as to make sure that any
> residue from whatever had been previously hauled in that truck had been
> effectively cleared out.
> If your problem is with the USDA version of organic, please snarl at
> the USDA, and not at organic growers in general. Most of us don't like
> a lot of what gets by under the USDA any better than you do (I'm
> thinking, among other things, of the failure to enforce genuine pasture
> access regulations). I agree that going entirely and only by the UDSA
> label, without knowing anything about the actual producers, may get you
> something that most of us don't think is organic at all; but the fact
> that some of us have the USDA label doesn't mean that we're all lying
> and just trying to rip you off.
> -- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
> Fresh-market organic produce, small scale


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