To expand on something here: profitable and environmentally sustainable farming can actually be quite complicated and *knowledge intensive* in ways that are incompatible with alt-ag's fetishization of small owner-operated "family" farms.
It requires expert knowledge and training in dozens of fields, not only those dealing with the technical side of farming, but also from environmental and life sciences and business and accounting. In no other industry do people assume *one person* (the farmer) should do all this.
Sustainability also requires an ecological perspective that doesn't fit within the fencerow to fencerow of propertied farms. Wetland or prairie restoration can't be effectively managed at 100 or 200 acres. It requires a much larger scale that, in turn, requires teams of experts.
And fetishizing the farmer--the do-it-all country polymath--sets people up to fail and poisons effective group dynamics. Telling farm *owners* the should (and do) know everything is a great way to devalue the knowledge and experience workers bring.
This is something @SarahTaber_bww talks about: labor on "family" farms gets gendered in ways that actually impair the financial health of the farm. Ma does the books and Pa rides the tractor. But Pa is the farmer and "calls the shots" so he over-invests in tractors.
Alt-agriculture folks must question not only the technical practices of conventional farming but also modes of organizing labor, decision-making, and authority, and that requires critically reexamining our attachments to the "independent farmer" as a masculinist archetype.
What would serve sustainability and profitability better? Collaborative, egalitarian teams of workers using their expertise at larger scales. (Feminist and antiracist pedagogy I would note).
That will never happen if "farming is a way of life" and owner-operated family farms are the ideal. That framing simply reinforces the decision-making models of settler colonialism and racial capitalism that have failed the land and workers for centuries.

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More from @gnrosenberg

16 Oct
The "professors are a threat to free speech!" narrative is farcical when compared to the activities of, say, the organization of (mostly) white men with guns in your town that has a monopoly on violence, strong political views, and extensive political contacts and capital.
Imagine a group of professors trying to pull off something comparable in your town. Absolute nonsense. Few could (or would) even organize parallel retaliation against a *campus organization* at their university. To the extent that happens, it's almost always student activism.
So @LDBurnett tweeting about Pence's "little demon mouth" or @drewmckevitt tweeting that he doesn't want the President to die of Covid-19? Threats to free speech. The police force using its political heft to punish an NGO that fights domestic violence for a BLM yard sign? 🤷‍♀️
Read 7 tweets
21 Aug
Two related but distinct reasons to regulate instructor-student sex: 1) "Abuse": sex under conditions of unequal power can create *sexual harms.* 2) "Equity": Sex can create differential access (or perception thereof) that generates *pedagogical harms* to other students.
I find several things quite telling in the Morse scandal: A) College dems letter and assorted denunciations described the harms always as (1) -- language of predation, grooming, abuse, power -- but rarely as (2) (ineffective, unfair, inattentive).
B) Concerns from my colleagues about "professional ethics" made no serious effort to distinguish their own analysis of the situation from the dems letter. I.e. there was no effort to distinguish concerns about *sexual harm* from concerns about *pedagogical harm.*
Read 10 tweets
20 Aug
The Grievance Studies crew, beyond having suspect intentions, are sloppy thinkers and bad readers. They're so rigidly committed to their critique that they dump all sorts of contrary evidence into the pot. Ironically, that's what they accuse critical theorists of doing.
In the past, one of their primary gripes has been that postmodernism says that truth is radically subjective. Thus, rather than looking for material causes to problems, they say, pomos blame vast abstract conspiracies (patriarchy, racism, capitalism).
Does postmodernism, or poststructuralism, or whatever random medley of ideas and thinkers you want to blame, really have the power to reconfigure our politics in such a powerful and totalizing way? I dunno, but you certainly can't claim to be a *materialist* and think so.
Read 10 tweets
19 Aug
Take your @steak_umm and shove it: A proposed course of study for “socially-responsible” faux-woke frozen meat brand accounts about the social irresponsibility of the industry that pays them.
Thesis: Beef is among the most socially damaging and irresponsible products in American life. It is catastrophic for the environment, workers, and animals. It has been and continues to be a vital engine of settler colonialism, racial capitalism, and reactionary politics.
Cattle have always been a key instrument of North American settler colonialism. Livestock introduced by European settlers disrupted indigenous ecosystems, native land management and agriculture, and transmitted infectious illness.
Read 50 tweets
12 May
I'm seeing this in my tl a whole bunch so lemme save you some trouble: this article is so packed with bullshit they ought to designate it a superfund site.…
The interview's tldr is: The pandemic is disrupting higher ed in a way that will lead to elite top 20 universities partnering with tech titans to create "hybrid" online/offline universities. So Harvard+google, MIT.Microsoft, etc.
It's a long interview and it's so packed full of nonsense I hardly know where to start. The person being interviewed doesn't seem to know much of substance about higher ed finance, branding, or administration. Is what he's saying possible? Sure. Is it likely? No one knows.
Read 21 tweets
25 Apr
Another slaughterhouse thread?! Yep.

In MD and DE, farmers will destroy roughly 2 million chickens. Why? Because chicken plants are shuttered at the moment and farmers will not feed chickens indefinitely. This dramatizes something I was getting at in a thread the other day.
That thread, to review, was questioning the power attributed to "exposing" the grisly details of slaughter as a tool of animal liberation. If slaughterhouses are the grounds for our primary encounter with livestock will it generate moral concern?

My contention was that the overdetermination and (imagined) non-relationality of the slaughter spaces “derealize” livestock and make them embodiments of unlivability. We may not seek to stop their deaths because we cannot imagine them properly living or doing anything but dying.
Read 28 tweets

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