It's not like there was any shortage of ideas for how to improve the stability of U.S. agriculture, the lot of farmers, and the economic vitality of rural America. Just have a look at President-Elect Obama's rural agenda.
What would the ideas encapsulated here look like if embraced by the Obama-Biden team? What might they be called? Here's a few focused statements that occur to me...
- Help insulate farmers and farming regions from dependency on volatile bulk commodity markets by encouraging greater diversity of production.
- Facilitate production improvements through both simultaneous and sequential polyculture.
- Enable farmers to grow more of their own food without need for much time investment or manual labor.
- Reduce the time spent in machine operation.
- Reduce the acreage needed for an economically viable farming operation.
- Reduce the initial investment required to start a farm.
- Provide farmers and their children with high-tech experience.
- Create a demand for skilled technicians and technical instructors in rural areas.
- Create opportunities for rural youth.
- Preserve local crop varieties and experiment with new crops.
- Improve the quality and diversity of locally available produce.
- Reverse the impoverishment of rural culture.
- Reduce exposure to pesticides and pesticide residues.
- Reduce the dependency of agriculture on fossil fuels and feed stocks.
- Reduce contamination of runoff and ground water.
- Reduce and eventually reverse the loss of soil fertility.
- Reduce wind-borne dust.
- Enlist productive land in the efforts to preserve endangered species and provide wildlife habitat.
This list could be far longer, but that should be enough for a sample.