Dr Sarah Taber Profile picture
NC's candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture. Crop scientist, ex-farmworker, grower of farms & food systems.
Daniel O'Donnell Profile picture NotOralHistory @oralhistory.bsky.social Profile picture TaxDragon Profile picture CRE Profile picture Joshua Cypess Profile picture 31 subscribed
Mar 17 30 tweets 8 min read
Y'all know what day it is🍀

In the US, St. Patrick's Day is strongly tied to the event that led so many Irish people to emigrate here: the famine of 1847.

Food systems & supply chains make history. I'm working to build a better food system here in the southern US. Both regions share rich land that can grow plenty of good food- and a history of deep rural poverty, thanks to what could generously be described as "poor leadership."

There's also a lot of ingenuity in both.
Feb 6 9 tweets 2 min read
A cool thing from the CHORE TOUR: A thread!

Wild things happen when you sit down with farmers & talk about their problems.

Real problems- flooding, the cost of land, access to markets, workforce, etc.

Not fake outrage issues like border standoffs & welfare cheats. Talking with Marty and her husband Wind of Her Heartbeat Farms. We're in a cozy leatherworking studio with hardwood floors. Tools and decorations are hung on the walls. The neat thing about real problems? They have real solutions! They can be solved!

And hearing that is electrifying for farmers.

That's because "Yes, we can fix this" is something farmers almost never hear from lawmakers.
Feb 1 7 tweets 2 min read
Time for corn facts! Ok so you probably know about huitlacoche.

There's a fungus that infects corn ears and basically gives them a freaky-looking tumor filled with spores.

This fungus-filled tumor is delicious. Like a sweet corn mushroom.
Photo of an ear of yellow sweet corn. The kernels on the end are swollen, misshapen, and discolored to bluish black. They look like they got infected with a horrible zombie disease. But they taste so good So here's where it gets fun.

Huitlacoche is what we call a smut fungus (smut from the German schmutz for dark stain/dirt). These fungi spew dark spores all over the place. It's what they do to perpetuate the species.
Jan 31 17 tweets 4 min read
Are you guys ready for the buck-wildest agriculture story I've ever heard Let me set the stage: Umnak, the biggest island in the Aleutian chain.

Some guys thought it would be a good idea to ranch cattle there. Screenshot from Google Maps, showing a pinpoint on an island near the end of the Aleutian chain. It might be the biggest island in the chain but it's wayyyy out there in the middle of the North Pacific.
Jan 30 17 tweets 5 min read
In honor of Texas border stunts, let's talk about what happens to agriculture when a state decides to "get tough on immigration."

And it always, always ends badly for farmers. A cartoon of a sign over a border wall that reads "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: NO ENTRY. NO HAY ENTRADA. PA GEN OKENN ANTRE" Let's start with an easy one: Georgia in 2011!

Georgia's HB 87 required farmers to use E-Verify to screen employees. It gave state police extra powers to enforce immigration law. And it created heavy fines & sentences for fake documents & transporting workers. Farmworkers in the fields carrying heavy boxes of produce on their shoulders. Others are bent over, picking.
Dec 15, 2023 16 tweets 4 min read
If you're seeing dire news about water & alfalfa lately, I have good news for you.

The US's water problems have solutions!

One of the most powerful solutions: give serious attention & investment to agriculture in the southeastern US.

Let's talk about just one way to do that. Photo of a former peanut field, harvested & dotted with big round bales of hay. Big flock of birds is on the ground & descending. In the background are cypress, oak, and other trees with a bit of fall color and a big, round sprawly shape that's very characteristic of the South. There's not enough snow to push the trees into a narrow snow-shedding shape. It's just a very southern-looking landscape. Photo credit G.P. Gillam, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/gin_nay/10677717456 In the South, we make hay that's as good or better than alfalfa... from peanuts.

We just haven't gotten around to exporting it.

That's a pretty simple problem to fix!
May 7, 2023 9 tweets 4 min read
Ok we all wanna bring back mammoths with cloning, but there are some weirdos I think we should also consider.

PROCOPTODON: giant pug-faced kangaroo with forward-facing eyes. We think it walked instead of hopping. Early Australians met it & I want to feel what they felt Artist's rendering of someo... Giant burrowing owl from Cuba that could fly but would probably rather not.

Look at this little guy. Imagine this little dude running around IRL. I want to pack its lunch & send it to school Illustration of a giant owl...
Apr 19, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
Ok hold on it gets weirder.

Last year I visited a colleague for work. For a week or two after I left, he got bombarded by tractor ads (which he'd never really gotten before).

Why? Open to other explanations, but the best sense I can make is it's hard to ID people who'd buy tractors & combines. Lots of people own acreage but don't buy ag equipment (landowners who rent it out, hobby farmers, etc).
Apr 19, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
Keeping the North Atlantic right whale from going extinct is important for many environmental & ethical reasons

but hear me out: they like to have group sex parties & if this is what a few hundred get up to, I just wanna find out what the ocean is like with 200,000 of em conservationists: there is a terrible tension between "making wildlife relatable" so people feel invested in their well-being, and anthropomorphizing them past the point of recognizability

me: I can make this problem worse
Apr 11, 2023 25 tweets 5 min read
Ok so. This is a joke but it's also true. This _is_ the wealth-building model Kiyosaki teaches in Rich Dad Poor Dad.

He made up a lot of his anecdotes, but the get-rich approach he describes is 100% real.

It's just plantation vibes. He grew up in a sugar plantation town. Hawai'i in the 1950s when Kiyosaki was growing up:

-Tourism was barely a thing yet.
-Sugar production was booming
-Hawai'i had been dominated by sugar plantations since at least the mid-1800s, & production peaked in the '80s.
-Sugar was THE BOSS in Hawai'i.
Apr 10, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
Tricia Cotham news: her main support base, as early as her 2022 primary, was PACs that give mostly to GOP candidates.

You don't wind up having donations arranged for you by the GOP house speaker's bag man by accident 🙃

Apr 10, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
:: Garfield voice:: Mondays breaking update: sunbeam is progressing up the cat, causing him to melt further down towards the floor. will he make it
Apr 4, 2023 10 tweets 3 min read

In the slavery era, the jobs outlook for poor white men was so bad (why hire ppl when you can just force enslaved people to work)

that if you were a poor white woman looking for a partner or paying customer…you were often better off dating outside your own demographic. And US demographics reflect that. As OP notes, this was his maternal line.

Since this is twitter, to reiterate: this is about the many poor white women who _didn't own people_ preferring Indigenous &/or enslaved Black men, bc they were often better providers than poor white men.
Apr 4, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
the longer I think about that "white southerners made non-southern whites racist (:" article the more I think

holy shit that argument is identical to centuries of anxieties about how Scots-Irish southern white trash

would "infect" good Anglo-Saxon stock with their naughty ways the irony is that prior to the mid-20th century, the southern poor white bad habit that "good" whites were worried about was

poor southern whites didn't hate Black & Indigenous people ENOUGH
Apr 2, 2023 74 tweets 15 min read
This is a textbook case on why we say "Correlation isn't causation."

I don't often find myself begging white political commentators to think about class _more_, but 2023 is a year of miracles.

Behold: the face that taught America to believe in Reaganomics apparently /s "Migrant Mother" ... This paper is built on a basic misread of who the white people leaving the South in the Great Migration WERE.

They weren't ex-slaveowners!

The US let slaveowners keep their estates! They stayed rich! They didn't need to go anywhere, and they're still the South's ruling class!
Mar 17, 2023 5 tweets 1 min read
Discourse nobody asked for: the only consistently good gymnastics fails are on pommel horse, and not for the reason you'd think. In this essay I will When people fall off the balance beam, rings, the various high bars, etc- it's too scary! Landing a vault or floor pass wrong can really mess you up!

The grandma instincts are kicking in and I am concerned about the stunts children
Mar 13, 2023 13 tweets 4 min read
Good thread re: social media & risk.

The coverage on banks rhymes a LOT with the wheat panic a year ago.

Turned out to be baseless for most of the people doing the panicking. Driven by a combo of speculators & clickbait journalism, egging on panic for personal gain. I'm not a finance expert. And neither are most of the people losing their shit about banks rn.

People w experience in bank regulation, & the standard wind-down process when one fails, are not running around with their hair on fire yelling about how the sky is falling.
Mar 2, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
every week a new reporter discovers that rich white people like to play militant land pirate & thinks it's a brand new phenomenon that just got invented

I'm always curious what they think the USA has been about for the last 250+ years

vanityfair.com/news/2023/02/n… "I know exactly who's really getting fucked in the land pirate economy. But I won't quote a single service worker or Latino in this entire article!"

the important thing is to maximize how much time you spend platforming landed gentry with guns
Feb 23, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
Is there a way to search for medical practices that take your insurance and not your social security number Hello & welcome to data breach hell
Feb 23, 2023 16 tweets 6 min read
There are only ~340 North Atlantic right whales left. Fishing gear is killing them faster than they can reproduce. It's game over for the species if we can't stop deaths ASAP.

So NOAA limited fishing in NARW habitat last year.

Those rules are gone now, thanks to Susan Collins. Aerial photo of a mama whal... When did that rule change happen?

Late December 2022.

We don't have the data yet to tie these together, but it's worth noting that IS roughly when whale deaths started to increase.

(Details downthread.)
Feb 21, 2023 23 tweets 7 min read
The astroturf campaign has become so extreme, "concerned citizens" are stalking, harassing, and threatening marine mammal rescue centers- who are also tasked with handling & determining cause of death for dead whales.

time.com/6254785/whale-… Image Very normal behavior for people who "just want to save the whales."

I can't say this enough: blaming wind turbines for whale deaths is not based on science.

The people who do are stalking, harassing, & threatening scientists, & the people who actually do marine mammal rescues. Screenshot from Time articl...