Monday
Nov142011

North AL Food Policy Council Meeting

Urgent! With so much at stake and so little time left to have our say on the FARM BILL (also known as  our "Food Bill"), we have added a special event to our program on Tuesday, Nov. 15th–

A Citizen’s Guide to The Farm Bill 

6:15 PM on November 15th, 2011

320 Fountain Circle

City of Huntsville Engineering Building

After our talk at 5 PM entitled“Water: Alabama’s Competitive Edge for Food and Farmers?” we are hosting a special session on how we can stand up for family farmers and healthier food choices for all.

The Farm Bill is only passed every 5 to 7 years. This single piece of legislation greatly affects what we and our children eat! 

Grab the shopping cart before it is too late! This quick video shows what we mean ~ http://www.parentearth.com/take-action/parents-stand-up-for-healthy-food-psa/

Eat, Learn, & Act!

Refreshments by Local Chef Will 

Please Spread the Word!

We are postponing our regularly scheduled steering committee meeting to host this important session.

A full Schedule is Below


5:00 PM ~ Water: Alabama’s Competitive Edge for Food & Farming? 

6:00 PM ~ Refreshments by Chef Will

6:15 PM ~ A Citizen’s Guide to The Farm Bill


 November 15th, 2011
320 Fountain Circle
City of Huntsville Engineering Building
--------------------------------------------- 
Water: Alabama’s Competitive
Edge for Food & Farming?
 

 

As western aquifers diminish, our water resources may give Alabama farmers a competitive edge.  The North Alabama Food Policy Council Steering Committee invites you to hear the latest research on sustainable irrigation techniques.   Cameron Handyside of UAH’s Earth System Science Center will give this free talk on November 15th, 2011 at 5 pm at the City of Huntsville Engineering Building, 320 Fountain Circle. A brief meeting will follow the discussion. All are welcome.

 

Irrigation farming has been used for centuries to overcome dry climates and increase food production – particularly in the American west. In Colorado, California and other western locales, we built dams, dug reservoirs and constructed canal systems to channel water to farms from far away rivers. Dependable, adequate irrigation water allowed western farmers to produce crops consistently year after year.  As a result of this success, farm production shifted from eastern, rain-fed farms to western, irrigated deserts. 

This type of irrigation, however, comes with costs.  Large scale agriculture coupled with rapidly expanding urban areas like Los Angeles strain the water supply to critical points.  At our current pace, the Ogallala, a key western aquifer, will be depleted in 15 to 50 years. This type of irrigation also leaches salt and other contaminants into the ground, reducing crop production and slowly poisoning the soil.  In California, for example, growers have foregone over 100,000 acres of prime farmland due to salinization. All of this is occurring while the southeast loses its farming base. 

Unable to compete with the low prices western farmers charge for row crops; many eastern farmers have converted land to pasture, timber or sold out completely.  In Alabama, small-scale, sustainable irrigation techniques may preserve key riparian habitat and make Alabama farmers more competitive – particularly during drought conditions.

For more information about this workshop or about future installments in the series, please call 256.655.8585 or emailnafoodpol@gmail.com.

The North Alabama Food Policy Council Steering Committee is a coalition of citizens dedicated to the development of a chartered Food Policy Council in North Alabama to support a more locally-based, sustainable and self-reliant food system accessible to all. www.nafoodpolicycouncil.org.

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