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Works in Progress

Brief observations on food in an age of opulence and scarcity

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch—Orson Welles An early introduction to food geopolitics My first lesson in political economy came at an early age. Granted, it wasn’t given by an economist and it did not take place in a university lecture hall. It was…

Could vegetable processing facilities and grain storage open new markets and save farmland in south Puget Sound and Southwest Washington?

When farmers lose buyers, whether a farmers’ market customer, local processing facility, or grain mill, it becomes that much more difficult to make a living by farming. Our region’s farmers reflected this reality in 2017 when they identified gaps in the food system infrastructure such as food processing facilities, storage…

Willie Nelson and friends list some programs worth paying for in the 2018 Farm Bill

The 2008 Farm Bill ushered in a suite of programs that support the development of local and regional food systems, market diversification opportunities for farmers, healthy food access initiatives and other innovative programs that seize upon the great potential of food to bolster local economies, create jobs and deepen the…

Trump says give 62 cents of each 2020 budget dollar to the military

With his new budget, Donald Trump proposes to take more than $1 trillion in taxpayer money and disperse fully $750 billion to the military. Out of every taxpayer dollar, in other words, 62 cents go to the military and our militarized Department of Homeland Security (Veterans’ benefits take another seven…

Big and bloated farm programs

“The farm bill and trade policies are geared around the idea that farmers should get big or get out and depend on export markets to make their ends meet,” Karen Hansen-Kuhn, Director of Trade and Global Governance, Progressive Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Stabilizing farms and food supply The…