Dear Vice President Harris,
In this NY Times article discussing the debate over who should become the next Agriculture Secretary, the NY Times article is making a false dichotomy between what people want in different communities. I interact quite frequently with people in Midwestern “red” states in rural areas who are farmers promoting and restoring soil health. These people are part of the “soil health movement”. This movement represents a wide array of people across the political spectrum bridging the urban rural divide. This community doesn’t want more of the same old same old that Heitkamp & Vilsack represent. Instead, this community wants to see enforcement of existing anti-trust laws to break up consolidated operations (especially meat packers) so that there are freer and fairer markets. They also want to see reform of crop insurance so that soil health is emphasized rather than undermined. They want common sense policies that emphasize education rather than constrictive rules to follow. Therefore that means less emphasis on conventional Ag (what Heitkamp & Vilsack represent) and more adoption of forms of Ag (e.g. Regen Ag) that puts money back into the pockets of family farmers and rural communities rather than into the corporate bank accounts of large industrial interests like agro-chemical, NPK fertilizer, biotech, meatpackers, pharma, and large processed food companies.
From communications with my good friend Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio’s 13th District), who made regenerative Ag a central pillar of his brief run for the Democratic nomination for POTUS, he told me his colleague Rep. Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio’s 11th District is open-minded to a regenerative Ag program. So as contrarian and ironic as it may seem, Rep Fudge better represents the issues and the interests of many people in rural communities than the two other people from rural states being considered for the AG Secretary job, Heitkamp and Vilsack. Why? Again these two represent large corporate interests. The great thing about soil health and regenerative Ag is that it brings people of all colors, backgrounds and political affiliations together to find common ground. When people come together, this creates the opportunity for greater understanding, more tolerance and unity. And that is exactly what our country needs right now.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Btw. please watch this brief video clip below from my friend Gabe Brown, a ND farmer, Soil Health Academy educator, and author of the must read book Dirt to Soil.