I have been involved in local agriculture ever since the age of 12, when I managed to convince a neighbor to allow me to raise pigs for 4H in his fallow horse pasture. As I grew older and I delved deeper into the politics surrounding food production, distribution, and consumption, it became impossible to ignore the many contradictions, injustices, and manipulations of understanding of our food system. Since then I have worked at farmers markets, WOOFed, interned at an urban community garden in Santiago, acted as food manager of the largest student housing cooperative in North America, Cloyne Court, earned my Permaculture Design Certificate, and extensively researched the US food and agriculture system as I earned by B.S. in U.S. Environmental Policy and Management from UC Berkeley.
I think at the core of it, my interest in our food and agriculture systems stems from my belief in the power of community, and the need to build a decentralized political system based on community self-determination. I have little doubt that fixing our broken agriculture and food system will require a complete restructuring of our priorities and economic system. We must shift from an economic system based on brute competition to one based on the much more fundamental human trait of cooperation while building communities and businesses founded in entirely new legal structures and conceptualizations of community power, decision-making, ownership, and control. At its core, we need to build an economy that redistributes control of resources from corporations back to the communities that steward and create the wealth of the world. Our earth has the abundance, and we have the creativity, to very much make a socially and ecologically just world a reality. It is entirely within our collective ability.
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