Our Heroes is a weekly series that highlights the work and the daily lives of people who are making major changes in the world of food, water and/or energy.
In the runup to Labor Day, we speak with Sanjay Rawal about his new film, Food Chains, which takes an unflinching look at abuses in the fields, but it also tells the hopeful story of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, who've made incredible strides over the past decades, managing to strike agreements with some of the world's largest fast food companies and grocery stores through consumer pressure.
"Our mission is to raise the healthiest animals possible in the most humane way, and to leave this land better than we found it," Dede Boies explains. Today, she and David Evershed do just that as they raise AWA-certified meat chickens in 200-bird flocks for marketing within the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast region.
Los de Mora Local Growers' Cooperative, a producer group of 35 family farms and ranches in the Mora, NM area, has voted to require all livestock producer-members to become Animal Welfare Approved, which ensures animals are raised in accordance with the highest welfare standards in the US.
Windy N Ranch has become the first Animal Welfare Approved farm in the U.S. to receive approval for eight farmed species, including meat chickens and laying hens, laying ducks, cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and turkeys. They continue to add livestock species to advance their vision of making the ranch a "one-stop operation."
It's been a year like no other for Tiffany Haworth, executive director of the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA). In early February, a coal ash waste pond on the banks of Dan River began to spill its toxic contents into the river. Here, Tiffany shares how DRBA responded to one of the worst coal ash spills ever to occur in the US.
What happens to the residents in southwestern Pennsylvania's biggest coalfields when fracking comes to town? Ask Patrick Grenter and Veronica Coptis of the Center for Coalfield Justice to find out about their fight for local communities against the problems caused by the fossil industry in this Our Heroes installment.
With interest in the energy-water-climate nexus intensifying, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has emerged as one of the preeminent organizations and resources on this important environmental and economic issue. John Rogers, senior analyst in the Climate and Energy Program at UCS, is at the heart of their work on the nexus.
She may not be a household name, but Naomi Starkman influences some of the most famous leaders in the good food movement, and has been instrumental in the founding of many key projects, not least the James Beard Award-winning community food blog, Civil Eats.
On May 19th, students from James Madison High School presented their sustainable design projects at the Union Square Green Energy Fair, sponsored by GrowNYC and ConEdison. We talked with their teacher Maggie Belizaire and Environmental Education Coordinator Mike Zamm about the students and their visions for a sustainable future.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a more enthusiastic, persuasive advocate for clean energy than Gordian Raacke, founder and executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island (reLI) - and solar homeowner. He's long been a nationally-known leader in clean energy and climate change issues.
Leslie Moyer is the director of Post Carbon Institute's Energy Reality Campaign. Read Leslie's interview to learn about her work with artists and energy, the undeserved un-sexiness of energy conservation and a particularly mind-blowing uphill car ride.
Bluestem Farm is a four-season, diversified farm, dedicated to producing a huge variety of food straight through the long winters of Northern Michigan - no small feat! They proudly raise heritage-breed pigs, chickens for both meat and eggs, and a large variety of indoor and outdoor vegetables.
Peter Finch grows vegetables and herbs on 55 acres at Rolling Hills Organics in Roseneath, Ontario. Read on to find out what he says balances out the exhaustion and unpredictable crop outcomes he faces every season. Part of our Eat Well Guide farmer heroes mini-series!
Shannon Hyde of Olive Egg Farm in Honeoye Falls, New York, produces food people can feel good about eating. Hyde believes that "we have a responsibility to the animals we raise to provide them with a fulfilling, healthy life, humane treatment, and humane processing."
16-year-old Cole Desmond raises poultry and eggs on 10.2 acres at his family's farm in Ipswich, Massachusetts, where life really does go full-circle. Desmond says: "We believe that if the bird is happy, then that's all that counts." Part of our Eat Well Guide farmer heroes mini-series!
This week's hero in our "Know Your Waterkeeper" series is Gary Wockner of Poudre Waterkeeper. Gary saves rivers, fights frackers and climate change and loves endangered species and democracy. We like all those things too and we think Gary makes an excellent hero!