Sunday, May 31, 2009

ag, MBA, academy grad

Today while watching a documentary about fresh local food in contrast with industrial farming, I wondered about all those agricultural school graduates and what they’ve learned over the years. Seems America, dominated by corporate, not even corporate, that implies some sort of economic transparency, thinking of Cargill, the international private owned company, has a crisis, or at least from my seat I perceived a crisis of food supply, production methods, an industry supported by the pharmaceutical industry to provide the bovine hormones and antibiotics to ensure disease free strip steaks. Compelling.

The documentary’s title: Fresh

A few times I felt inspired and even close to tears of admiration for these farmers making a new way in farming using what people call sustainable methods.

My skeptical self kicked in afterwards. A few concerns.

- We have some basic social systems in America that seriously compete with sustainable methods, such as free market capitalism, the medical industrial complex and the military industrial complex. The pharmaceutical industry needs corporate farming. And our defense industries create a great deal of profit based upon the woes of others.

- We have a serious food availability “desert” right here in River City, here in Kansas City in the forgotten part of town. The community east of Grand, west of the Paseo, from 31st or so, south to the 60s…try to find fresh produce there.

So while this documentary had me feeling global, I soon felt local…not farm local, for that was a theme…my thoughts went “City Local” while sitting in this totally white audience.

We got trouble…right here in River City…with a capital T and rhymes with P and that stands for Produce…

So in the midst of this I wonder about agricultural college curriculums, business programs, and military academy education. What have we done? What have we learned? Does the Peace Corps need a university? Should it be the next service academy we build?

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