*CLINTON ADMINISTRATION CONFIRMS PLANS TO REDUCE PESTICIDE USE
*WALLACE INSTITUTE BOARD ELECTS FIVE NEW MEMBERS
*MEMBER OF WALLACE INSTITUTE'S PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL NAMED
*NEW IRRIGATION KEY TO ALTERNATIVE COTTON SYSTEM
*THOMPSON FARM ON-FARM RESEARCH FIELD DAY IS MORE THAN THAT
*CLOVER MULCH, REDUCED INPUTS IN SOUTHEAST AMONG NEW JOURNAL
CLINTON ADMINISTRATION CONFIRMS PLANS TO REDUCE PESTICIDE USE
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental
Protection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration last
month reaffirmed their commitment made in June to reduce the use
of pesticides and promote sustainable agriculture. In a briefing
September 21 before joint House and Senate committees dealing
with pesticides, the three agencies agreed to speak with one
voice in an attempt to come to grips with the inconsistencies in
the nation's pesticide laws that have frustrated farmers,
consumers, environmentalists, scientists, administrators, and
lawmakers for more than a decade.
The three agencies proposed a host of statutory changes and
new initiatives intended to strengthen existing pesticide laws,
to upgrade the scientific basis for pesticide regulation, and to
prevent pollution and minimize risk through appropriate reduction
in pesticide use.
The major statutory changes recommended are as follows:
(1) repeal the Delaney Clause, which bans the use of carcinogenic
pesticides in processed foods, and replace it with a health-based
negligible risk standard for all foods;
(2) phase out the present risk-benefit approach which balances
economic benefits in determining tolerance levels in raw foods;
(3) bring all pesticides under tolerance review within seven years
and require re-registration every 15 years;
(4) allow for fast-track review to remove dangerous pesticides
within three to four years;
(5) give the FDA authority to recall and embargo foods and to levy
civil penalties for non-compliance;
(6) authorize EPA to phase down and phase out pesticides of concern
with less litigation than at present;
(7) strengthen EPA's authority to mandate prompt
pesticide label changes;
(8) make it possible to include integrated pest management (IPM) as
a mandated part of pesticide applicator certification and training
(9) allow more flexibility to authorize certain pesticides for
(10) restrict U.S. manufacture and distribution to other
countries of pesticides banned or not registered in this country
because of health and safety reasons (the "circle of poison"
Proposals to upgrade the scientific basis for pesticide
regulation lean heavily on the recent National Research Council's
report, Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. The
Administration proposes to put greater emphasis on food
consumption patterns of children and multiple exposure data,
including exposure from pesticides used in the home, on lawns,
and in drinking water. It also recognizes the need for more
consideration of cumulative effects of pesticides with similar
active ingredients, and calls for more information on the unique
aspects of infants and children in order to set appropriate
negligible risk tolerance levels.
The third leg of the Administration's initiative calls for
increased efforts in prevention of risk exposure. Its proposals
state clearly that Americans need to reduce their use of
pesticides. The Administration first recommends regional
ecosystem-based pilot projects to reduce pesticide risks, and
proposes to have IPM programs in place on 75 percent of the
nation's farmland acreage by the year 2000. In addition, the
Clinton Administration supports market-based incentives to reduce
risks, such as labeling foods to encourage consumers to purchase
food grown with few or no pesticides.
The three federal agencies have agreed to put their
proposals in bill form, thereby presenting a third alternative to
the Kennedy-Waxman bill (S.331, H.R. 872) and the Lehman-Bliley
bill (H.R. 1627) (see September issue of Alternative Agriculture
News). The debate promises to be lively; the stakes are high.
WALLACE INSTITUTE BOARD ELECTS FIVE NEW MEMBERS
The Wallace Institute's Board, at its mid-year meeting
September 11 in Berkeley Springs, W.V., elected five new members
who will start their terms in March, 1994. On the Friday
preceding the meeting, the Board also toured the organic-
certified farm of Board member Ward Sinclair, and the dairy farm
of Richard Mosemann, who uses an innovative rotational grazing
system. The new Board members are: Dr. Cornelia Butler Flora,
Professor and Head, Department of Sociology, Virginia Polytechnic
and State University, and former Assistant Professor at Kansas
State University; Dr. James William Gibbons, owner of a family-
run small fruit and vegetable farm in Ozark, AR, and former
Senior Rice Scientist, Centro International de Agricultura
Tropica, Colombia, South America; Sister Esther Nickel of the
Religious Sisters of Mercy, Jackson, MN; Ph.D. in agronomy, and
manager of a student learning center for practical farm
experience; Kenneth J. Taylor, Executive Director of Minnesota
Food Association, and former Chair, North Central Region
Administrative Council, USDA SARE Program; and Gregory C. Watson,
Eastern Regional Director, The Nature Conservancy, and former
Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Food and Agriculture.
MEMBER OF WALLACE INSTITUTE'S PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL NAMED
Kate L. Clancy, President of the Wallace Institute, has
announced the members of the 1993-1994 President's Council,
formed three years ago to provide guidance and support for
Wallace Institute activities in promoting a more sustainable
agricultural system in the United States and abroad. Members
are: Dr. Jill Shore Auburn, University of California, Davis; Dr.
Charles Benbrook, Benbrook Consulting Services; Norman A. Berg,
Washington Representative, Soil and Water Conservation Society;
Hon. Bob Bergland, Executive Vice President and General Manager,
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association; Hon. George E.
Brown, Jr., U.S. House of Representatives; Ron Ellermeier,
farmer, Glenvil, NE; Robert Gray, Resource Management
Consultants; Ralph Grossi, President, American Farmland Trust;
Dr. R. Jim Hildreth, Elmhurst, IL; Ms. Dana Jackson, Minnesota
Food Association; Dr. Dennis R. Keeney, Director, Leopold Center,
Iowa State University; Dr. Fred Kirschenmann, Kirschenmann Family
Farms, Windsor, N.D.; Hon. Patrick J. Leahy, U.S. Senate; Dan
Martin, Director, World Environment and Resources Program,
MacArthur Foundation; Dr. Ned S. Raun, Stillwater, OK; Ronald L.
Rosmann, farmer, Harlan, IA; R. Neil Sampson, Executive Vice
President, American Forestry Association; Edward Sills, Pleasant
Grove Farms, CA; Dr. Karl N. Stauber, Vice President - Program,
Northwest Area Foundation; Dr. David G. Topel, Dean, College of
Agriculture and Director of Experiment Station, Iowa State
University; and Dr. Stephen Viederman, President, Jessie Smith
NEW IRRIGATION KEY TO ALTERNATIVE COTTON SYSTEM
A Low Energy Precision Application irrigation system is
being used on a 160-acre farm where researchers, with help from
the SARE Program, are studying sustainable cotton production
systems which may result in decreased water and wind erosion,
decreased nutrient leaching potential, and pest management with
environmentally safe chemicals. For more information, contact
William M. Lyle, Project Coordinator, Agricultural Engineer-
Irrigation Research, Texas A&M University Research and Extension
Center, Rt. 3, Box 219, Lubbock, TX 79401; (806) 746-6101.
THOMPSON FARM ON-FARM RESEARCH FIELD DAY IS MORE THAN THAT
Few followers of alternative and sustainable agriculture do
not know about Dick and Sharon Thompson's farm in Boone, IA, and
their annual field days. At this year's event, held September 9,
participants saw and discussed results of continuing on-farm
research on everything from ridge tillage, cover crops, corn
varieties, manuring strategies, and rotational grazing, to swine
production without antibiotics. The results are available in the
"Thompson On-Farm Research" 1993 report, published this year with
support from the Wallace Institute. Copies are $10 from Thompson
On-Farm Research, 2035 190th Street, Boone, IA 50036, as are
copies of "Walking the Journey: Sustainable Agriculture That
Works" ($22), a 22-minute video which explains the Thompsons'
operation and was professionally produced by Iowa State
University Cooperative Extension.
The research results tell only part of the Thompson story.
Practical Farmers of Iowa is a grassroots organization formed in
1985 by the Thompsons and a handful of other farmers who wanted
to learn how to farm in ways that are both environmentally
beneficial and profitable. It now has 450 members, including 28
farmers doing on-farm research. Rather than competing with Iowa
State University researchers, PFI works closely with them, and
"may be the first grassroots sustainable farmers group to have a
contractual agreement with a Land Grant Institution," according
to the Thompson research report.
CLOVER MULCH, REDUCED INPUTS IN SOUTHEAST AMONG NEW JOURNAL
Managing interference in a sweet corn-white clover living
mulch system, and reduced chemical input cropping systems in the
southeastern United States are among the articles in the latest
issue of the American Journal of Alternative Agriculture (Volume
8, Number 2), the Wallace Institute's quarterly, peer-reviewed
journal of research on alternative agriculture. Examination
copies of the Journal are $6; annual subscriptions are $44 for
institutions, $24 for individuals, and $12 for students. For
more information, contact the Wallace Institute, 9200 Edmonston
Road, #117, Greenbelt, MD 20770; (301) 441-8777.
Midwest Sustainable Agriculture Working Group and
Sustainable Agriculture Coalition seek a half-time employee to
serve as spokesperson in Washington, D.C., and to coordinate
national media and public information activities. Send resume,
references, and five writing samples to Mark Schultz, Land
Stewardship Project, 14758 Ostlund Trail N., Marine on St. Croix,
MN 55047, by November 1.
Center for Rural Affairs seeks several employees: full or
part-time organizers to work in rural Nebraska on state issues;
and a full-time organizer to work with family farmers, grassroots
environmental activists, and sustainable agriculture groups in
several rural Midwestern states on 1995 farm bill issues. For
full job description and/or to send resume, contact Marty Strange
or Chuck Hassebrook, Center for Rural Affairs, P.O. Box 406,
Walthill, NE 68067, by November 7.
Land Stewardship Project seeks an Associate Director to
conduct foundation development, oversee media relations,
supervise staff, and assist with federal policy work. Send
letter, resume, and writing samples by October 22 to LSP, 14758
Ostlund Trail N., Marine On St. Croix, MN 55047.
"Organic Market News & Information Service Organic Wholesale
Market Report" publishes systematic reporting of organic produce
prices; subscriptions are $39; contact Zabrae Valentine,
Committee for Sustainable Agriculture, (916) 446-1860.
"Pesticide Reform Agenda," an agenda for reform of the
nation's pesticide laws proposed by consumer, labor,
environmental, and public health organizations, is available from
Natural Resources Defense Council, 1350 New York Ave., NW,
Washington, DC 20005.
October 20, November 3, 17, and December 1, group study
sessions on astronomy as it relates to biodynamic agriculture
will be held at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, at no
cost; contact Herbert Koepf or Gail Kahovic, MFAI, (414) 642-
October 28-30, "Rural Information at the Crossroads: Issues
and Opportunities," the third conference of the Agricultural
Information Network, will be held at Auburn University, Auburn,
AL; contact Joann DeVries, USAIN '93 Program Chair, University of
Minnesota, St. Paul Campus Libraries, 1984 Buford Ave., St. Paul,
November 1 is the deadline for abstracts of papers for
"Creating Research, Education, and Management Partnerships Among
Natural Resource Professionals," the fifth International
Symposium on Society and Resource Management to be held June 7-
10, 1994; contact Michael J. Manfredo, Program Chair, Human
Dimensions in Natural Resources Unit, Colorado State University,
Fort Collins, CO 80523; (303) 491-6591.
November 1-3, "New Directions in Pesticides Research,
Development, Management, and Policy," will be held in Richmond,
VA; contact Conference Registrar, Donaldson Brown Center for
Continuing Education, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
University, Blacksburg, VA 24061; (703) 231-5182.
November 5-7, "Small Farm Today Seminar & Trade Show" will
be held in Columbia, MO; contact Chuck DeCourley, Small Farm
Today, Ridge Top Ranch, 3903 W. Ridge Trail Road, Clark, MO
November 5-7, "Developing Sustainable Communities," the 8th
Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference tradeshow, will be held
in Raleigh, N.C.; contact Dr. Jeanine Davis, North Carolina State
University, (704) 684-3562.
November 6, Pennsylvania Community Supported Agriculture
Workshop, sponsored by Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable
Agriculture, Rodale Institute, and Biodynamic Farming
Association, will be held in Dauphin, PA; contact PASA --CSA
Workshop, PO Box 316, Millheim, PA 16854; (814) 349-9856.
November 6, Shiitake Mushroom Workshop will be held at Kerr
Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Poteau, OK; contact Lara
Ervin, KCSA, PO Box 588, Poteau, OK 74953; (918) 647-9123.
November 6-7, Farmer to Farmer Conference: Focusing on
Sustainable Systems will be held in Raymond, ME; contact Maine
Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, PO Box 2176, Augusta,
ME 04338; (207) 622-3118.
November 8-9, Agricultural Biotechnology Conference will be
held in Washington, D.C.; contact CEEM, Inc., 10521 Braddock Rd.,
Fairfax, VA 22032; call 1-800-745-5565 or (703) 250-5900.
November 10-17, Ranching for Profit School will be held in
Sacramento, CA; contact Elaine Kelly, Ranch Management
Consultants, 7719 Rio Grande Blvd., NW, Albuquerque, NM 87107;
(505) 898-7417 or (505) 821-4214.
November 12-14, "Building Sustainable Communities," the 8th
annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference, will be held in
Raleigh, NC; contact Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, 115
W. Main St., Carrboro, NC 27510; (910) 968-1030.
November 13 and 20, Horticulture Crop Diversification
Conferences will be held at Carroll and Cedar Rapids, IA; for
both events, contact Dr. Eldon Everhart, Iowa State University
Extension, (712) 755-3104.
November 18-20, 1993 Acres USA Conference will be held in
Kansas City, MO; contact Acres USA, PO Box 9547, Kansas City, MO
64133; (816) 737-0064.
November 19-20, Fourth Annual Rural Women's Conference will
be held in Hutchinson, KS; contact Linda Hessman, Catholic Rural
Life Office, P.O. Box 137, Dodge City, KS 67801; (316) 227-1535
or Char Henton, FACTS, 1-800-321-3276.