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Center for Respect of Life and Environment (CRLE)
Programs & Services


Towards A New Production Ethic

Activities and Consensus Formation Sessions

Soon after the initial formation meetings which led to the establishment of the Soul of Agriculture Project in Washington, D.C. and in Minneapolis in 1997, and even before that meeting's dozens of papers on the values of family managed farming were redacted into the draft, Creating a New Vision of Farming, members of Soul began using its materials to conduct consensus formation activities and for pedagogical purposes as well. The following is a partial list of those activities.

1. Minnesota Project Initiative, "Do We Share Common Values", 2/3/98, 100 attendees, many farmers. Organizer, Loni Kemp.

2. South Central Minnesota Sustainable Agriculture Group, Mid-February, 1998, "Creating a New Vision of Farming." Organizer, Sr. Mary Tacheny (Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry).

3. University of California, Small Farms Program Symposium, Sacramento 5/12/98 "Agricultural Ethics" (Presenter, Stan Dundon, distributed the Soul draft Creating a New Vision of Farming). Organizer, Desmond Jolly, U.C. Small Farms Director.

4. Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society annual conference, San Francisco, Panel "Creating a New Vision of Farming" (Chair, Stan Dundon) 6/5/98.

5. California Food and Fiber Futures Capstone Conference, Kellogg Foundation Project, Sacramento, 6/7/98, Soul of Agriculture Project Announced and Creating a New Vision of Farming distributed.

6. Lutheran-Catholic Rural Life Conference (St. John's Univ. Collegeville MN) "Creating a New Vision of Farming" (conference based on the document) June 11-12, 1998, Srs. Mary Tacheny and Kathleen Storms, Discussion leaders. 70 attendees, many farmers.

7. Multiple meetings by Roger Blobaum (then coordinator of Soul of Agriculture) at agricultural conferences from Massachusetts to Texas Jan. to April, 1998.

8. Agricultural Education Foundation, Sacramento, Annual "New Class Induction" Soul of Agriculture Project announced and Creating a New Vision of Farming distributed to deans and faculty of several land-grant and non-land-grant agricultural schools.

9. Community Alliance with Family Farmers (Yolano Chapter) Meeting, by Stan Dundon, 11/12/98. Presentation of Soul of Agriculture Project.

10. National Catholic Rural Life Conference, 75th Anniversary Celebration, Des Moines Iowa, 11/17/98. Presentation of Soul of Agriculture Project by Stan Dundon.

11. Committee for Sustainable Agriculture, Annual Eco-Farm Conference, Asilomar CA. Jan 14-16. Presentation of Soul of Agriculture Project by Stan Dundon.

12. Northern Plains States Meeting of Lutheran Ministries, "Bread for the World " Regional Organizer, Tami Walhof distributed Soul of Agriculture Literature February, 1999.

13. Future of Rural America Conference, Dubuque, Iowa. Iowa local Soul of Agriculture coordinator, Dr. Barbara Dilly, set up a table and distributed our literature, March 7-9,1999.

14. First European Conference on Agricultural Ethics, Wageningen, Holland. Stan Dundon gave a paper on the goals and progress of the Soul of Agriculture. March 6th, 1999.

15. Continuing California Small Farm Conference, University of California Davis, March 29-31, 1999. Stan Dundon gave a brief talk and led a discussion on the need of the Soul of Agriculture Project and its plans in California.

16. Panel on Agriculture and Environment, Annual Meeting of Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society, Toronto. Stan Dundon introduced the Soul of Agriculture project and distributed our literature. June 6th, 1999 (Moderation of this panel was turned over to a graduate student).

17. Annual Meeting of National Agricultural Biotechnology Council (NABC), Jan and Cornelia Flora (Soul Board member and one of the featured presenters at NABC) distributed Soul literature and explained its purpose to attendees. Lincoln NB, June 6-8.

18. Planning Meeting for the 1999 California Farm Conference, Stan Dundon explained Soul of Agriculture and obtained a place on the program for a panel for a consensus formation activity to be carried out by farmers. Berkeley, June 9th. The panel was approved by the highest majority vote of any panel. (Conference was in Berkeley CA, Nov. 7-9, 1999.)

19. Farm Crisis Meeting, Special Invitation Only meeting of Agricultural leaders, Moscow Idaho. John Gerber (U-Mass extension director) distributed literature and explained Soul to about 75 farmers and agricultural leaders. Sept. 11-12, 1999.

20. From Farm to Fork, Reclaiming Our Food System from Corporate Giants, Bloomington Minnesota, Sponsored by The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, the Izaak Walton League and the MN Farmers Union. Sr. Mary Tacheny SSND presented literature and explained Soul to attendees, Sept. 18th, 1999.

21. Second Annual National Small Farm Conference, Soul of Agriculture had a booth and a text/photograph exhibit explaining Soul of Agriculture and inviting participation. Saint Louis MO, October 12-14, 1999.

22. Fifth National Convention of the Community Food Security Coalition, Soul had a display and literature as well as a consensus formation workshop organized by Stan Dundon and chaired by Gary Valen. Leading the consensus formation activity were Sandra LaBlanc, director of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's (ELCA) Rural Affairs Office and Arlene Olson, a North Dakota farmer and activist. Chicago, October 15-18, 1999.

23. Celebrating The Lives Of Rural Women Sharing And Coping In The Midst Of A Farm Crisis, St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, Ames, Iowa. Barbara Dilly, Iowa State Soul Coordinator introduced Soul to the attendees. October 16, 1999.

24. Workshop on the Soul Theme "A Farm/Town Consensus on the Basic Values of Family Farming", The California Farm Conference, Nov. 7-9, 1999, Berkeley. Stan Dundon organized the panel which will be given by two local farmers and Peter Rosset, Director of Food First, Institute on Food and Development Policy. (Rosset recently authored a study dispelling the myth that family farms are economically inferior to industrial models.)

25. Sacramento Community Television, Channel 73. Presentation by Stan Dundon: "Genetically Modified Organisms in our Food, How Extensive is the Testing", Jan 31, 2000.

26. Biotechnology Communications Workshop (for Industry and Academics), University of California, Davis, March 6, 2000. Soul of Agriculture Coordinator (Dundon) authored one paper published in the workshop program book: "In Bed Together or Farm Industries Must Share the Values and Ethics of Farmers" based on Soul's Creating a New Vision of Farming and presented a second showing the threat to public confidence in farm products due to poor ethics of communication in the ag-biotech industry: "The Ethics of Agricultural Biotechnology Communication."

27. Sacramento Catholic Radio Presentation by Soul coordinator. "World Hunger, Biotech and Agricultural Development", March 13, 2000.

28. Future of Farming and World Trade, Fred Kirschenmann, Soul Board member and Leopold Center Director, displayed Soul materials and introduced Soul of Agriculture to the conference attendees. Olympia WA, March 24, 2000.

29. Soil Food and People Conference. Dundon Presented the Soul of Agriculture Project, UC Davis, March 27-29, 2000.

30. Nammour Symposium, Dundon laid out the reasoning allowing use of animals as food while demanding compassionate care for them in "Ethics of Animal Use." (To this point the Soul of Agriculture, as is evident in Creating a New Vision of Farming, has a growing consensus on the seriousness of the obligation to treat animals compassionately while still using them for human benefit.) California State University, Sacramento, April 4, 2000. (Paper is available from Dundon at [email protected].)

31. California State Senate Presentation before various media reporters: "Ethical and Technical Motives for Labeling Genetically Modified (GM) Foods", April 24th, 2000. (A portion of this was later broadcast on National Public Radio July 1st, 2000.)

32. California State Senate Committee on Agriculture and Water, Testimony on the same issues of labeling GM foods. April 26th, 2000.

33. Quantum Agriculture Project, Presentation by Dundon, "Institutional and Paradigm based Obstacles to Innovation in Agricultural Research and Practice." Santa Rosa, CA, May 6, 2000.

34. California State Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Higher Education. Testimony before the joint meeting by Soul coordinator of "The 'Kept University' and the Risks of Genetically Modified Organisms", May 15, 2000. (A formal paper resulted, Inquiry in Action, #26 & 27,Spring/Summer 2000. This is the journal of the Consortium for Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education. Viewable at under publications on biotechnology. It is entitled "Institutional and Environmental Risks in Agricultural Biotechnology.")

35. American Chemical Society Annual Convention, Continuation of the topic from the Senate Hearings: "The Doctrine of Substantial Equivalence and the Risk to Land-Grant Credibility in Inadequate Testing of GM Foods", San Diego, April 2nd, 2001.

36. Soul of Agriculture Consensus Formation, Stanislaus State University, Turlock. Sponsored by the Ecological Farming Association, and presented by Central Valley family farmers, Glen Anderson, Victor Hansen and Thomas Willey. June 30th, 2001.

37. Society for Nutrition Education, Annual Convention "Biotechnology and Feeding the World, Linking Science with Ethics", panel, Dundon with Drs. Claude Fauquet and Ignatio Chapella, Oakland, CA. July 21st, 2001.

38. Conflict Resolution in World Trade Seminar for International Lawyers, "Ethical Justification for Labeling Genetically Modified Food and Feed", presentation by Dundon with a panel for the UC Davis (Extension), King Hall, Aug. 16th, 2001.

CRLE | [email protected]