Food and Agricultural Issues

Accountability of Institutions

A Decade of Agricultural Research Funding at OSU & Oklahoma Farm Statistics

Agricultural Research Funding in the Public and Private Sectors USDA data for the years 1970-2007 (public) and 1970-1998 (private). (June 2009)

Agricultural Exports

"An Open Letter to Dan Glickman" (Spring 1999 newsletter article) by James E. Horne, Ph.D. Also covers market concentration, efficiency, corporate agriculture, sustainable agriculture.


Attitudes Concerning Biotechnology: A Survey (short report) by Manjula Guru. Results of a ten question survey exploring the attitudes of rural Oklahomans and others towards genetically modified crops and foods.

Biotechnology: A Boon or a Curse? (short report) by Manjula Guru and James E. Horne
The advantages and disadvantages of biotech in agriculture, and concerns about the loss of biodiversity with the advent of the biotechnological age.

Mourning the Increasing Loss of Biodiversity (report) by Manjula Guru and James E. Horne. A thorough exploration of the importance of genetically-diverse crops and the threat biotech poses to biodiversity.

Mourning the Increasing Loss of Biodiversity: A Summary (summary of the report) by Manjula Guru and James E. Horne.

Who Benefits from GM Crops? Report from the Center for Food Safety and Friends of the Earth. (February 2009)

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Pasture-Based Dairy Literature Review
by Victoria Campbell-Arvai, Michigan State University
This paper compares the environmental, social, economic, human health, and animal welfare impacts of pasture-based versus confinement dairy

Bringing Home the Bacon? The Myth of the Role of Corporate Hog Farming in Rural Revitalization (report) Based upon research sponsored by the Kerr Center and conducted by the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, directed by Dr. Cornelia Butler Flora. The impact of industrial swine production on a rural Oklahoma county measured through financial, population, social and environmental indicators. Also alternative development approaches.

A Citizen’s Guide to Rural Zoning for Industrial Swine Facility Waste Lagoons in Oklahoma (report) by Barry Ross Muchnick and Julio Cesar Teran of the Yale Environmental Clinic. Guidelines and practical information that will enable communities to go forward with a rural planning proposal; covers reasons for zoning, strategies, legal issues, pitfalls, sample ordinances.

Controlling Odor and Gaseous Emission Problems from Industrial Swine Facilities: A Handbook for All Interested Parties (report) by Amy Chapin, Charlotte Boulind, and Amanda Moore of the Yale Environmental Protection Clinic. Very readable report addresses the complex odor issues associated with large-scale swine production, methods for controlling odor, survey of regulations in the U.S. and Europe.

Controlling Odor and Gaseous Emission Problems from Industrial Swine Facilities: Recent Laws and New Ideas (report) by Amy Chapin, Charlotte Boulind, and Amanda Moore. Updates the above publication, going beyond odor problems to discuss economics, clean water, recent court cases, new laws (in Oklahoma and elsewhere), and alternative methods of raising hogs.

Rural Communities and CAFOs - New Ideas for Resolving Conflict (report) Confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and nuisance law, right-to-farm laws, environmental regulations of CAFOs, state activities challenging CAFO growth, local control, rural conflict, resolving disputes outside litigation, and mediation of agricultural disputes.

Studying the Impacts of Industrial Confined Animal Feeding Operations: A Review of the Literature (report) by Mark Lawrence of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development and the Kerr Center. The impact of industrial-sized CAFOs on the social, human, economic, and environmental resources in rural areas.

The Effects of Industrial Swine Production (speaker's packet) (Call 918-647-9123 for more information).

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Farm Finances

Crop Insurance for New and Specialty Crops
by Sam Cameron (from Future Farms 2002 Proceedings).

Financing Alternative Farm Enterprises (fs)
by Michael Chaloner (from Future Farms 2002 Proceedings).

U.S. Farm Crisis: Farmers, Bankers and Bankruptcy (report) by Manjula Guru and James E. Horne. The impact of increasing agricultural bankruptcies on U.S. agricultural enterprises, especially as experienced and perceived by small family farmers. Analysis and policy recommendations are based on case studies conducted by the Kerr Center.

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Fair Markets

"Do We Really Have Competition in the Marketplace?" (Fall 2000 newsletter article) by James E. Horne. Description of the report, A Food and Agriculture Policy for the 21st Century.

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Farmland Preservation

Farmland Preservation through Conservation Easements (newsletter article) by Anita Poole.

Preserving Oklahoma Farm and Ranch Land (fs) by Robert Gregory and Jack Blair (from Future Farms 2002 Proceedings).

Protecting Farmland: It’s a Good Thing (newsletter article) by Maura McDermott.

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Food and Agriculture Policy

Closer to Home: Healthier Food, Farms and Families in Oklahoma (Kerr Center report)
A look at Oklahoma's food system from farm to table; information on nutrition, health and food access, along with information about agricultural production and marketing.

Agriculture & Drug Resistant Bacteria: Is There a Link? (newsletter article) by Maura McDermott. How antibiotics are used in agriculture; how resistance occurs; impact on human population.

Annotated Bibliography of Literature on Food Environments
An annotated bibliography of 125 articles on the subject of food environments (e.g. retail food access, food deserts), authored by Jayson Otto, a graduate student in Community, Food, and Agriculture at Michigan State University.

Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences (USDA Economic Research Service, 2009)
Limited access to nutritious food and relatively easier access to less nutritious food may be linked to poor diets and, ultimately, to obesity and diet-related diseases.
The 2008 Farm Bill directed USDA to conduct a 1-year study to assess the extent of the problem of limited access, identify characteristics and causes, consider the effects of limited access on local populations, and outline recommendations to address the problem. This report presents the findings of the study.

State Implementation of the New WIC Produce Package: Opportunities and Barriers for WIC Clients to Use Their Benefits at Farmers’ Markets
(Community Food Security Coalition, 2009)
This report provides an overview of the current status of the new WIC Package Rule and the issue of states authorizing farmers as vendors for the new cash value vouchers for fruits and vegetables.

How is My Food Grown? Labeling for Sustainable Production (report) by Manjula Guru and James Horne. Importance of food labeling in today’s world, consumers right to know, economics of labeling, organic foods labeling, labeling of genetically modified foods in U.S. and E.U., and the importance of having a universal understanding regarding biotechnologically engineered, as well as organic foods, is examined.

Organic Foods:What do We Need to Know About Them?
(fact sheet) by George Kuepper

Seeds of Change: Food and Agriculture Policy for Oklahoma’s Future (report) by James E. Horne, PhD, and Anita Poole, JD, LL.M. Policy recommendations covering environmental issues, fair markets and contracts, marketing, education and research, and rural development. Also: guiding principles, mission and values of the Kerr Center.

Should Bio-Engineered Foods be Labeled? (fs) FAQs about genetically-modified foods.

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Food Safety is the gateway to food safety information provided by government agencies. This site includes links to and information about federal and state agencies involved in food safety. It includes up-to-date listing of recalls and alerts, along with information on
keeping food safe, food poisoning, and inspections and compliance.

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Sustainable Economics

The Case for SRI-- Socially Responsible Investing (report) by Anna Anderson. The case for SRI, practical investment advice, case studies of Monsanto, Mitsubishi and Interface, analyzing their social responsibility.

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Sustainable Resource Use

Conserving Habitat through the Federal Farm Bill: A Guide for Land Trusts and Landowners (National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, 2010) This comprehensive and practical guide is for farmers, ranchers, land trusts and other landowners who want to increase wildlife habitat on their land.

The Ogallala Aquifer (report)by Manjula Guru and James E. Horne. History of use, current situation, water quality in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles, sustainable development as an alternative.

Resources on Local Food and Climate Change
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) recently published this annotated bibliography of resources on the connections between local food and climate change.
The Climate-Friendly Gardener: A Guide to Combating Global Warming
from the Ground Up
(Union of Concerned Scientists, 2010)
This science-based but accessible guide explains how home gardeners can avoid contributing to climate change by using certain techniques and tools that are more climate-friendly than others.

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Sustainable Rural Development

Ecologically-Based Communities: Putting It All Together at the Local Level (report) by W. Joe Lewis and Marion Jay. Foreword by Ray C. Anderson, Interface, Inc. The premise: healthy human communities are like healthy ecosystems. Inherent strengths of communities and how to enhance them; also trends that erode community strength. Education, agriculture, social services, health care, and small town businesses are covered.

Where's the Local Beef? Rebuilding Small-Scale Meat Processing Infrastructure
(Food & Water Watch, 2009)
This report documents changes in the slaughter and processing industry across the country, identifies the reasons for the disappearance of small plants, presents examples of next generation processors, and suggests policy changes necessary
for rebuilding this sector of the meat industry.

USDA Preliminary Study: Small Meat and Poultry Processing Needs
This study by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is a first attempt to identify areas in the U.S. where small livestock and poultry producers are concentrated but may not have access to a nearby slaughter facility. The data create a county-by-county view of the
continental United States, indicating the concentration of small farms raising cattle, hogs and pigs, and chicken, and also noting the location of nearby state slaughter facilities and small and very small federal slaughter establishments.

Mobile Slaughter Unit Manual (Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network, 2010)
This manual offers comprehensive guidance for anyone interested in building and/or operating an inspected mobile slaughter unit (MSU) based upon on the experiences and expertise of several USDA-inspected MSUs in operation.
USDA Mobile Slaughter Unit Compliance Guide
(USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, 2010) The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service released this compliance guide to present recommendations; it does not contain regulatory requirements.
Guide to USDA Funding for Local and Regional Food Systems (NSAC, 2010)
Published by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the Guide to USDA Funding for Local and Regional Food Systems seeks to de-mystify some of the federal grant programs most likely to be useful to food systemsí development work and directs organizations to specific resources that can help in designing a project and writing a grant.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at Farmers Markets: A How-To Handbook. (USDA, June 2010)
The handbook provides the managers of farmers markets with a step-by-step guide to installing Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) machines and accepting SNAP benefits.
SNAP/EBT at Your Farmers Market: Seven Steps to Success
A free handbook designed to help farmers market managers develop and sustain SNAP/EBT projects at their markets. (Project for Public Spaces, August 2010)

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