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Agriculture Secretary Petition at fooddemocracynow.org

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In these final days before President-Elect Obama makes his selection for Secretary of Agriculture, we urge you to express your support for dynamic and sustainable choices for the post.

An online petition available at www.fooddemocracynow.org is accepting signatures. The petition lists six suggestions including Gus Schumacher, Former Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Slow Food leader Neil Hamilton, the Director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University.

Josh Viertel, Erika Lesser, Slow Food USA board members, and Slow Food leaders from around the country have signed the petition and are spreading the word. SFUSA is encouraging members and friends to add their names in support of the suggested candidates: Even if the new administration doesn’t pick one of the listed candidates, signing the petition sends a strong message that we want a good, clean, and fair food system and that we expect our new administration to make choices that support that vision.

For more information on the nominees and the role of the Secretary of Agriculture, check out Kim Severson’s piece in last week’s Diner’s Journal on the New York Times’ website as well as Steph Larson’s comments, posted on one of our perennial favorites, The Ethicurean.

Food Democracy Now!

is a grassroots movement initiated by farmers, writers, chefs, eaters and policy advocates who recognize the profound sense of urgency in creating a new food system that is capable of meeting the changing needs of American society as it relates to food, health, animal welfare, and the environment.

As such, we are dedicated to advancing the dialogue on food, family farm, environmental and sustainability issues at the legislative and policy level. We understand the dynamic interplay between today’s industrialized agricultural system and its impacts on human health and well-being, health care costs, rural communities and the environment. We advocate for policies that encourage sustainable, humane, organic and natural food systems.

We seek to transform today’s system by advancing best practices in food production, animal husbandry, conservation of natural resources, renewable energy and soil preservation. Through these efforts we hope to stimulate local food systems, promote rural economic development, encourage a new generation of farmers and respond to the growing public demand for wholesome, fairly-produced food. We will also support candidates who advance this vision and who embrace common sense policies that respect our nation’s air, water, soil, livestock, food workers, consumers and family farmers.

We hope that you will join us in this national movement to implement real and significant change in our nation’s food, agricultural and environmental policies.

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