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This week on The Farm Report, host Erin Fairbanks speaks with Doug Fine, author of the book Hemp Bound: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution. In an interesting discussion about the controversial substance that has been outlawed in its time among many states, Erin and Doug discuss the benefits of hemp and why hemp production should be something that is encouraged throughout the country. From the ground up, Doug walks us through the details of the hemp plant itself to his thoughts on the rebuilding of the hemp seed's biodiversity. With many uses that the average consumer might not recognize, such as material for clothing as well as houses, he goes on to share that with more production, hemp could help the country's farmers by offering a viable, profitable product to grow and sell. Tune in to find out more on why the stereotypes that surround hemp might need to be re-examined. This program has been brought to you by Cain Vineyard and Winery.

"Hemp is any variety of the cannabis plant that is 0.3% THC or less... Unless you get high smoking broccoli or corn, no, you can't feel psychoactive effects from hemp." [2:13]

"Hemp seed oil, which is extremely profitable, is an omega superfood. I put it in my morning shake every day. It basically does what flax oil or cod liver oil does, in terms of high proteins, in some cases better." [19:17]

-- Doug Fine on The Farm Report

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Tune in to a special episode of The Farm Report as Erin Fairbanks talks labor and workers rights with author and activist Margaret Gray. Margaret is the winner of the 2014 Association for the Study of Food and Agriculture Book of the Year Award as well as the author of Labor and the Locavore, which focuses on one of the most vibrant local food economies in the country, the Hudson Valley that supplies New York restaurants and farmers markets. Based on more than a decade’s in-depth interviews with workers, farmers, and others, Gray’s examination clearly shows how the currency of agrarian values serves to mask the labor concerns of an already hidden workforce. Margaret also explores the historical roots of farmworkers’ predicaments and examines the ethnic shift from Black to Latino workers. With an analysis that can be applied to local food concerns around the country, this book challenges the reader to consider how the mentality of the alternative food movements implies a comprehensive food ethic that addresses workers’ concerns. Tune in for an incredibly insightful conversation on the state of workers rights in the farming community. This program was brought to you by Heritage Foods USA.

"I never would have anticipated that my book would become a food studies book. It was a little more academically oriented around social movement issues but then I saw an amazing opportunity to have a conversation with people interested in food." [3:20]

"The farmers I talk to are very explicit [in saying] 'We don't want American workers and we don't want our Latino workers to be Americanized.' Some of the structural issues are around the way laws are designed and the power dynamics around the farms. " [21:00]

"The intimacy that we have from buying from small local farmers translates in a way into the relationships those farmers have with their workers." [22:00]

--Margaret Gray on The Farm Report


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How is farming tied to carbon and how does carbon keep life on earth possible? Find out on a very elemental and scientific episode of The Farm Report as host Erin Fairbanks is joined by Courtney White, the author of Grass, Soil, Hope. A former archaeologist and Sierra Club activist, White dropped out of the 'conflict industry' in 1997 to co-found the Quivira Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to building bridges between ranchers, conservationists, public land managers, scientists, and others around the idea of land health. On today's show, Courtney explains what makes carbon such an essential part of the soil (and the earth) and introduces some alternative methods of farming that could help bring more carbon into our soil. The answer is biological farming - not chemical farming, and Courtney makes a clear case for out of the box thinking when it comes to our land and soil. Tune in and learn about the real issues in the ground and on the minds of sustainable agricultural thinkers everywhere. This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery.

"How carbon gets cycled is extremely important to maintaining life on this planet!" [02:45]

"We want biological farming not chemical farming." [05:16]

"If we want to store more carbon we have to stop killing the fungi in the soil." [07:36]

"If you have a practice that increases plant vigor and makes plants happy, you're storing more carbon in the soil." [12:40]

"Changes start in the margin, ideas start on the outside and move in over time...but how do you get them to speed up that journey to the center? That's tough. We need policy changes and we have such a dysfunctional political system right now" [20:42]

--Courtney White on The Farm Report


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