A 501(c)(3) non-profit citizen’s organization dedicated to thoughtful planning and policies for sustainable growth, stewardship of our natural, cultural and historical resources and the protection of the rural character of our region.
“Bayer in the U.S. is known largely for its pharmaceuticals, with scientists who developed modern Aspirin and Alka-Seltzer.” And you might need a little of both to process the company’s latest deal; a massive $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto. Here’s more on the deal that could reshape the world’s food supply. (If Bayer/Monsanto’s pesticides make you sick, don’t worry. Bayer/Monsanto has a drug to help you. Synergy!)
Bayer in the U.S. is known largely for its pharmaceuticals, with scientists who developed modern Aspirin and Alka-Seltzer. But the deal would pivot the 117,000-employee company more towards its farm-targeting business in agriculture chemicals, crop supplies and compounds that kill bugs and weeds.
The German chemical company Bayer said it will take over U.S. seed giant Monsanto to become one of the world’s biggest agriculture conglomerates. The $66 billion deal – the largest corporate mega-mergers in a year full of them – could reshape the development of seeds and pesticides necessary to fueling the planet’s food supply.
SAMSARA is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives. Filmed over a period of almost five years and in twenty-five countries, SAMSARA transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, SAMSARA subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern.
This clip showing industrial food production is both beautiful and disturbing..
Shenandoah Valley, located in gorgeous rural Virginia, is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the oldest mountain range in the world.
Shenandoah National Park, located at the northern section of the valley, struggles to maintain its dark skies as the surrounding towns such as Harrisonburg, Charlottesville and even as far back as Washington D.C, produce high levels of light pollution. Although the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division of the National Park aims to curb light pollution on federal lands across the United States, severe urban light pollution of surrounding towns often negates those efforts.
This video reveals an interesting phenomenon which occurred in Summer 2015, when endless storms hammered the east coast of the United States for weeks. During one night, the clouds from those storms blocked much of the light pollution, which coupled with the clarity of the atmosphere, provided a rare crystal clear sighting of the Milky Way from the high elevation of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
This video, which premiered on BBC Earth, was filmed as part of SKYGLOW, an ongoing crowdfunded quest to explore the effects and dangers of urban light pollution in contrast with some of the most incredible Dark Sky Preserves in North America. You can support SKYGLOW by visiting WWW.SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM
A powerful solution to the climate crisis can be found right beneath our feet—in the soil. By harnessing the immense power of photosynthesis, we can convert atmospheric carbon, a problem, into soil carbon, a solution. Emerging science proves that shifting to regenerative forms of agriculture such as agroecology, agroforestry, cover-cropping, holistic grazing and permaculture will allow us to store excess carbon safely in the ground.
MADISON COUNTY, Va (WVIR) – A farm in Madison County is now the only beef producer in the state to be certified Animal Welfare Approved.
The independent label requires the strictest ethical and organic standards in the country. To achieve that label, the cows at Wolf Creek Farm are raised without hormones or antibiotics, eat only grass, and live their entire lives in a pasture.
The most common sound to break the silence day to day at Wolf Creek Farm comes from the hundreds of cattle feasting on the pastures cultivated by owner John Whiteside. He says his operation is the best way to use what nature has to offer.
“The best way we can harness the energy of the sun and improve the health of the planet, is through grazing animals on soil,” Whiteside said.
Farms like Wolf Creek are a rarity, making up less than 10 percent of the beef market.
Food Patriots begins with a wake up call: filmmakers Jeff Spitz and Jennifer Amdur Spitz’s son got sick eating chicken contaminated with a superbug, and antibiotics failed. The film chronicles the family’s newfound interest in food sources, getting outlaw chickens, and meeting people from all walks of life who are trying to change the way Americans eat food, buy food, and educate the next generation of consumers. They call the people who are doing this Food Patriots.
“Like most families, we are concerned about the disconnect between health and food,” film director Jeff Spitz said. “Being unenthusiastic about chickens and all types of yard work, I picked up a camera to document my family’s experience, starting in our backyard and then venturing out to find stories that inspire us to keep going.”
Food Patriots features urban farmers, organic entrepreneurs, food activists, chefs, 8th graders, high schoolers, college athletes and most surprisingly, a conventional farm family that grows corn and soy while raising thousands of hogs in confinement. This film shows how a family learns to grow together, challenge the status quo and become engaged citizens. It also shows what happens when Jennifer and her college football player son go to Capitol Hill to inform congress about antibiotic resistant superbugs.
When Emmy Award-winning director Jesse Vaughan was approached about producing a film on food insecurity in Virginia, the problem hit home for him.
His mom lives on Richmond’s North Side in the house he grew up in. “And when I was approached for consideration on doing this as a documentary, I was talking to her about it and I realized she lives in a food desert,” Vaughan recalled Sunday.
“So I took it very personally and said, ‘You know what? I need to pour my heart and soul into this issue and make people aware that it’s a very serious problem.’ ”
“Living in a Food Desert,” a documentary produced by Vaughan and Cedric Owens for Virginia State University’s College of Agriculture, had just premiered at the Richmond International Film Festival. After the screening, a panel that included Dorothy McAuliffe, Virginia’s first lady, weighed in.
“There needs to be a forceful call to action,” she told a Byrd Theatre audience that included her husband, Gov. Terry McAuliffe. She had noted on screen that more than 300,000 Virginia children are food insecure. Her advocacy on the issue “comes from being a parent. And to imagine that a parent can’t feed their child nutritious, wholesome food, it’s just heart-wrenching.”