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My Conversation with Carey Gillam: Uncovering Corruption in Agribusiness

Congratulations to Carey Gillam on her award-winning book Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science (2017, Island Press). Carey’s book earned a gold medal for “Outstanding”  and “Most Likely to Save the Planet” at the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards. In my most recent Rootstock Radio conversation with Carey, we talk …

April 27th, 2018  |  Published in Food & Ag Issues, Rootstock Radio

My Conversation with Bob Scowcroft: Historian and Organic Pioneer

Want to know something about the history of the organic movement…errr, I mean, the $40 billion organic industry that started as a movement? You’ve come to the right place! Meet Bob Scowcroft, an organizer for Friends of the Earth (FOE) in the ‘70s, first executive director of California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) in 1987, and …

October 24th, 2017  |  Published in Rootstock Radio

My Conversation with Starhawk: Reclaiming the Commons

Whenever I read something from Starhawk or have the privilege to speak with her, I am inspired with new ideas and new approaches to old topics. In my most recent Rootstock Radio conversation with Starhawk, two thoughts from our interview stand out: First is how, when and why do we need to integrate “healing” into …

October 17th, 2017  |  Published in Rootstock Radio

Let’s Get Off the Pesticide Treadmill

It is always a learning opportunity and an honor to talk with Dr. Chuck Benbrook, one of the most knowledgeable agricultural researchers on the impact of pesticides on human health. Chuck and I share a big concern for how the escalation of pesticides in the Midwest will impact young moms, fetuses and young children. There …

August 22nd, 2017  |  Published in Food & Ag Issues, Rootstock Radio

Simple Truth Versus Post-Truth

John Ikerd, our Rootstock Radio interview this week has seen agriculture from all sides. The son of a farmer, he began in the 1970s out of college supporting the policies of Earl Butts, USDA Secretary of Ag under Richard Nixon known for his infamous directive to farmers: “Get big or get out.” By the mid-1980s, …

June 22nd, 2017  |  Published in Rootstock Radio

My Conversation with Paul DeMain: Native American Food Sovereignty

Paul DeMain’s Ojibwe name, Skabewis, means “messenger,” which is entirely appropriate for the course his life has taken. He is a speaker, journalist, managing editor and CEO of News from Indian Country, a teacher, and a member of the Oneida tribe of Wisconsin. DeMain also works with Winona LaDuke’s organization Honor the Earth, supporting Native environmental …

June 8th, 2017  |  Published in Rootstock Radio

Earth Connections – Celebrating Earth Day

Every year at Organic Valley, we highlight Earth Week, and our Human Resources department finds many ways to engage us in connecting with the planet. One way to engage is the annual highway cleanup. It’s not difficult to find dozens of reasons to skip it every year, but this year, reasons sounded too shallow and …

April 22nd, 2016  |  Published in CROPP Culture, Featured Post, Sustainable Living

Meet Kathleen Merrigan Mother of Organic

Editor’s Note: We’ve gone on a search-and-rescue mission to find amazing stories and essays published in earlier print editions of Rootstock. Today’s throwback, “Meet Kathleen Merrigan Mother of Organic” was written by Theresa Marquez for the Spring 2008 edition of Rootstock. Some of us old-timers still remember the early days (late 80’s) of lobbying for a federally …

May 7th, 2015  |  Published in Featured Post, From the Rootstock Vault, WomenShare

New MacDonald’s Farm – does it go too far or not far enough?

My daughter is 30 now, but I have a vivid memory of a time when she was a teenager and was sitting around in the living room with her friends, talking and sharing about life and what they were learning about the environment. I was called in by the girls and was asked point blank, …

March 25th, 2015  |  Published in Featured Post, Food & Ag Issues

The VALUE OF ACTIVISM – What’s it Worth?

Activism, I mean. What’s it worth to us? A lot of what we enjoy now is the result of activism not just money: civil rights, women’s right to vote, workers’ rights, democracy… Pretty much no huge social change was ever achieved without lots and lots of activists out there pulling back the curtain on bad …

November 3rd, 2014  |  Published in Food & Ag Issues


Theresa known in CROPP’s inner circles as “the challenger” can find dozens of reasons why this is so, perhaps not all of the reasons good ones. “As the first of the babyboomers, born in 1946, I got to graduate in 1964 and became a classic ‘dis-inheritor’ and became a member of what we called the ‘counter culture’. I think it was the girdles, teased hair and bomb drills that put me over the edge,” explains Theresa. She recommends that we all challenge the status quo, even when the truth is unpleasant. As the fifth child of eight, Theresa thinks she was born to cooperate and says her challenging nature comes from a deep faith that we have the technological answers to our problems and we now need to learn how to work together for the change we need.