4 Major Threats to Industrialized Agriculture–Fred Kirschenmann Speaks

By Kalpa
Counter Currents

Big Picture Agriculture

On September 3, 2010 I was fortunate to become acquainted with Fred Kirschenmann, a visionary in the field of agriculture. He spoke at the University of Colorado’s “Local Foodshed Commons” conference which was sponsored, in part, by Transition Colorado.

Who is Fred Kirschenmann?

Fred Kirschenmann considers himself to be a philosopher and a farmer, holding a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Chicago. He was an organic farming pioneer, who transformed his family farm in North Dakota to certified organic back in 1980. The farm is a natural prairie livestock grazing system that combines a nine-crop rotation of cereal grains, forages, and green manure.

Kirschenmann is a Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. He is President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York, also the site of the renowned eat-local Blue Hill Café. He holds and has held numerous other offices and appointments, including positions with the USDA, and in academia as Dean of Curry College in Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1995, Kirschenmann was profiled in an award-winning video, “My Father’s Garden,” by Miranda Productions, Inc. A quote worth noting from the movie producer is this…”Food cannot grow forever on a damaged earth, but Fred’s lesson is that we can bring health and beauty back into the Garden, if we are willing to cooperate with nature’s infinite intelligence. This wisdom holds the secret to our children’s future.”

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One response to “4 Major Threats to Industrialized Agriculture–Fred Kirschenmann Speaks

  1. The numbers below fly directly in the face of what Mr Kirschenmann said in regards to a vegetarian world espically in regards to water use. Kirschenmann answered that animals are an important part of a food production system and he does not know of any ecological models without animals that works as well. When you look at the numbers it is meat that causes the largest loss of water for farming. It also turns out that our government instead of telling us the truth of how bad things are by passing the price of water on to the consumer plays a shell game using subsidizing, see for yourself.

    Half of all water used for all purposes in the U.S. is consumed in livestock production. The amount of water used in production of the average cow is sufficient to float a destroyer (a large naval ship). While 25 gallons of water are needed to produce a pound of wheat, 5,000 gallons are needed to produce a pound of California beef. That same 5,000 gallons of water can produce 200 pounds of wheat. If this water cost were not subsidized by the government, the cheapest hamburger meat would cost more than $35 per pound. From an article: The Environmental Argument against meat-eating , by Suzanne K., pub Care2 Groups April 12, 2006. Paul

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