Thursday, December 4

Fallon Hired Hand for "Farmer-In-Chief"?

Not one to be shy about serving the public, Ed Fallon has "applied" for the job of White House farmer. In a press release from I'M Iowa sent out today for President-elect Barack Obama (see below), Ed Fallon asked to be considered for the job of “White House Farmer,” a term Fallon first came across in an article by Michael Pollan (“Farmer in Chief,” New York Times, October 12, 2008).

Pollan wrote: “This new post would be charged with implementing what could turn out to be your most symbolically resonant step in building a new American food culture. And that is this: tear out five prime south-facing acres of the White House lawn and plant in their place an organic fruit and vegetable garden.”

“America is hungry for a new direction in food production and consumption,” said Fallon. “World War II was a frightening time. The Victory Garden movement Eleanor Roosevelt helped kick-off on the lawn of the White House ignited a green revolution that led to 20 million gardens across the country, growing 40 percent of America’s produce. Similarly, these are scary times, and a new approach to food security is demanded.”

Fallon wrote to Obama, “I would be honored to serve in this capacity and believe I am well qualified. As I see it, the challenge involves both managing a
successful fruit and vegetable garden (and a small chicken coop for eggs!) and promoting greater food security across the country.” Fallon summarized his experience in politics, community organizing, gardening and farming:

• Served 14 years in the Iowa Legislature, and ran for Governor and Congress.
• Worked as a consultant with John Edwards’ campaign for president in 2007.
• Co-founded and directed two non-profit organizations.
• Traveled extensively across Iowa promoting farmland preservation initiatives.
• Co-founded the North Park Neighborhood Association.
• Co-founded a business which focuses in part on promoting locally grown foods.
• Raised much of his family’s produce over th e past twenty years.
• Helped establish and manage a community garden comprising five city lots.
• Coordinated the planting of 25,000 oak trees on his family’s farm in Ireland.
• Apprenticed on two farms in Nova Scotia in the early 1980s.
• As a Legislator, served on the House Agriculture Committee for six years.
• Developed a business plan for a grocery store featuring locally-grown food.

“To conclude,” wrote Fallon, “let me again quote Pollan: ‘{T}he president should throw his support behind a new Victory Garden movement, this one seeking “victory” over three critical challenges we face today: high food prices, poor diets and a sedentary population.’”

I would suggest that Backyard Abundance's Fred Meyer could split the chores with Ed and Kurt Friese could cook up some great locally grown meals for the Obamas.

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