Fred Kirschenmann Question 4

Uploaded by AFSICVideos on 28.06.2012

DR. KIRSCHENMANN: And so I think, again, one of the really exciting things that are happening
in a small scale in this country is that producers and consumers are networking with one another.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, just down the road from us, there is an organization called the
Minnesota Food Association which
MS. GATES: I have not heard that.
DR. KIRSCHENMANN: consists of urban dwellers and farmers who get together around the issue
of food, and some very exciting things happening out of that.
There is a very natural connection there. One of the people who is in a leadership position
in that organization says that one of the reasons that natural connection is there is
because people in the city are still close enough to their agricultural roots
DR. KIRSCHENMANN: that they want to be in touch with that, and he said the way he puts
it is that they don't want to get their hands dirty, but they want to shake the hands of
someone that does.
DR. KIRSCHENMANN: But I think those dialogues need to happen across this country because,
in the last analysis, whether or not farmers survive in our society in any numbers is you
know, is not as far as farmers are concerned is not a big issue. I mean, nobody guarantees
anybody any particular kind of career.
DR. KIRSCHENMANN: But if we move to a point where we have all of the food production systems
concentrated in the hands of very few people, then consumers lose control of the food on
their tables, and that is an issue that should concern all of us.
MS. GATES: And does. I recently read a reference to organic farmers and organic non farmers,
and I had not heard the phrase "organic non farmer," and I thought what do they mean by
that, but they meant exactly what you are talking about.
MS. GATES: People who want that kind of food but aren't involved directly in raising it.
DR. KIRSCHENMANN: Yeah. As a matter of fact, there are little, new business relationships
taking place in various places in the country. It is not any big movement, but it is happening
here and there, and that is, where a group of urban people will adopt a farm. And they
actually make a commitment in the form of writing out a check to the farmer for a percentage
of food that they will buy from the farm, and if the farmer happens to have a crop failure,
you know, they take the loss together with the farmer, and if the farmer has a big success,
then they get extra bonuses in food beyond what they bought and share in the profits.
And those are some interesting ideas, some interesting concepts, you know, that I think
are very intriguing and point to a new kind of future that is very hopeful.