Here's an excerpt:
The mere structure of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture...presents a lingering policy problem that thwarts those growing hordes of activists who see the promise of justice and sustainability being fulfilled at the community level.
USDA is hopelessly fragmented into programs that assist farmers – mostly very large commodity farmers, as we know; programs (15 separate ones in all) that feed people such as food stamps; and programs that support conservation.
If I walked into USDA headquarters in Washington, DC and asked to see someone who could help me develop a local food system that respected our natural resources, rewarded farmers with a decent livelihood, and provided healthy food to all our residents, nobody would know where to send me.
Read the full piece, entitled If Only He Asked Me - Thoughts on a New Way for USDA
Click here to access more of Mark's thoughts via his website and blog, including information about his recently published book, Closing the Food Gap. I wrote about it in a previous blog post.