Meet Rhyne Cureton: The Next Generation of Future Organic Leaders

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I first met Rhyne Cureton at the “We Are Organic” CCOF Foundation dinner. He was the guest speaker as a CCOF Foundation 2018 grant recipient. He grew up in Charlotte, NC and attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

I recently interviewed him. I first asked him to share what prompted him to choose agriculture as his career, and he said, “I always had an interest in working with animals. So, I transferred to A&T as an animal science major. I came to realize that agriculture is basically the fundamentals of human survival of civilization. It’s the background of all economics—the bread and butter of civilization. Agriculture isn’t just about farming; it’s about economics, energy research, education. It encompasses everything we do—whether it’s the clothes on your back, your housing and especially what you eat.” Continue reading

Happy New Year: Congress Lays a Golden Egg While USDA Doles out a Lump of Coal

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The end of the year has come and gone – a new year is upon us. I spent the holidays as a serial hostess, whipping up fine organic fare for friends and family. Yet the feasting and frolicking did not distract me from the news that affects the things I hold dear – Food and Agriculture.

While we were all preparing for the holidays, we at once received great tidings from Congress alongside a grimy gift from our dear Administration.

This then is the story of The Golden Egg and Lump of Coal that ended 2018. Continue reading

America’s First Organic and Biodynamic Vineyard Rising from the Ashes

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Frey Vineyards is a third-generation family-owned and operated winery located at the pristine headwaters of the Russian River in Redwood Valley, in Mendocino County, CA.

Jonathan and Katrina Frey met while apprenticing with the famed organic gardener, Alan Chadwick, in Covelo, CA in the 1970s.

When they returned to the family farm, they gathered up Jonathan’s brother, Matthew, and the rest of the enthusiastic younger siblings and established extensive vegetable gardens, vineyards, and fruit tree plantings. These continue to be planted and nurtured to this day. I recently interviewed Katrina Frey about the winery. Continue reading

What Do the Midterm Elections Mean for Organic?

Capitol HillI write from the Land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand. While I was eating kamura wedges and savoring corn fritters, the people of the US were deciding who would represent them in the halls of Congress. I placed my vote via absentee ballot just before I left.

These red-hot midterms sparked historic turnout. Over 114 million Americans cast their votes. Republicans will remain in control of the Senate in the next 116th Congress while the House will shift to Democratic leadership.

These changes will certainly lead to shifts in federal policymaking and could set the stage for friction between the two chambers as well as the executive branch.

How did Organic Champions Faire? Continue reading

An Organic New Zealand Odyssey

fern-1540867As you read this, I may be streaming over the largest body of water on the planet. The Pacific will beckon as I careen across the International Date Line, south to my favorite island nation, Aotearoa, literally the land of the long white cloud according to the Maori tongue. It is also known as New Zealand. Continue reading