Keeping Tabs on Government Policy

Keeping Tabs on Government Policy

Mar 06

Although I am loathe to get involve in politics and know that I am personally not a good enough speaker to effect change in that area, I am also becoming more and more interested in keeping tabs on big agriculture and the government’s policies on agriculture in general. So many aspects of daily life are regulated (or lack regulation) by the USDA that it’s important to be aware of their efforts and deficiencies. From school lunches to genetically modified crops to local farmers markets, the USDA has the power to radically change the way we eat, for good or for bad.

I recently signed up for the USDA mailing list which has led me to the USDA YouTube channel. Yes, that’s correct, the agricultural arm of the US government has a YouTube channel. (Don’t make the mistake of thinking that YouTube and social media are fads; they will certainly change in time, but EVERYONE will be involved sooner or later.) Most of the videos are clearly public relations propaganda, but the weekly reports are informative. I give credit to the USDA for enabling comments on their videos, though, as you can see if you scroll through, many are not favorable.

I’ve also come across the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food campaign, an effort by the USDA to encourage us to know where our food comes from and support local farmers. I appreciate the effort, but in light of the heavy regulations that stifle local production of dairy and meat, it seems like a consolation prize. Worth checking out, though.

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