Target: USDA Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack
Goal: Ban destructive monoculture farming methods to cut use of chemical fertilizers and toxic herbicides/pesticides, and to prevent desertification.
Most commercial farms practice monoculture; that is they are massive operations producing only one crop or one type of livestock. Monoculture fields are practically deserts, where one type of organism is kept alive and all others are excluded. This is completely unnatural, so the effort requires constant inputs of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. This destroys the soil that supports plant life in the first place. Monoculture crops are only kept alive by a sort of artificial life support. It doesn’t take long before these fields can’t even support this Franken-food and become full-fledged deserts.
The toxins that go on these foods are toxic to humans also. Yet, they are consumed by and come into contact with people; farmers, their neighbors, and consumers. These toxins also affect the environment in too many negative ways to count. Along with chemical fertilizers, they end up in our limited supply of freshwater, where they continue to create problems.
All of this can be avoided by farming using polyculture farming methods instead of monoculture. A good polyculture system is home to many different life forms: herbs, root crops, trees, shrubs, vines, animals, soil, organisms, fungi, etc. Interactions between all these diverse elements can be designed to form an entire agricultural ecosystem. When this is done right, pests and diseases are kept in check naturally, so the pesticides and herbicides become unnecessary. Using compost, animals, and certain plants that add nutrients to the soil, crops can be fed organically, without all the trouble of trucking in harsh chemical fertilizers. In this model, agriculture builds soil life rather than destroying it.
We can’t afford to be destroying the land that we use anymore. That’s OK, because we don’t need to. If we don’t need to, and we can’t afford to, why should we stand for the continued existence of these abusive land use practices? Join me in telling the USDA that we will not stand for this any longer.
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
Most commercial farms use monoculture farming strategies. This is a very inefficient and unstable method of production, in contrast to what we see in nature. Since this is contrary to nature, nature must ultimately overtake these efforts. Since nature is always efficient, she has the upper hand.
Conventional farming methods (monocultures) get around this by dumping huge quantities of harsh chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides onto the problem. This works temporarily, but eventually renders the land barren, and it pollutes and poisons the surrounding environment and the consumer.
By simply utilizing polyculture methods of agriculture instead of monoculture, the need for the destructive chemical elements is eliminated. A polyculture is modeled after nature, thus it is stable and self-perpetuating. Disease and pests are mitigated by lifeforms that are elements in the system, thus herbicides and pesticides are unnecessary. The nutritional needs of the crops in the system can be met by lifeforms that are elements in the system, thus chemical fertilizers are unnecessary. As such, the pollution and toxicity that are an inherent aspect of monoculture, and which have been so detrimental to human and environmental health, are unnecessary as well.
I urge you to ban monoculture farming practices and implement educational programs to offer viable alternatives. I urge you to end the cycle of poisoning, pollution, and desertification.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tkerr7392