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Agricultural Coexistence: Fostering Collaboration and Communication

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has published a notice in the Federal Register asking the public to comment on how agricultural coexistence in the United States can be strengthened.  Comments are due by January 3, 2014.

U.S. farmers in the 21st Century engage in many forms of agriculture, including conventional, organic, identity-preserved, and genetically engineered (GE) crop production.  USDA is unequivocal in its supports for all these forms of agriculture.  We need all of them to meet our country’s collective needs for food security, energy production, carbon offsets and the economic sustainability of rural communities.  Our goal is to promote the coexistence of all these approaches through cooperation and science-based stewardship practices.

Coexistence is an important challenge facing U.S. agriculture today.  Farmers and others in the food and feed production chain have an important role in collaborating to make coexistence work, particularly in the areas of stewardship, contracting and attention to gene flow.  As we seek to improve cooperation among those involved in diverse agricultural systems, we are interested in hearing what practices and activities are available or in use, and how USDA can help make coexistence work for everyone involved.

With this Notice, we want to hear more about the partnerships that are already occurring in rural America, and what, if anything, USDA can to do to help make collaboration and coexistence work for everyone involved.  We are looking to learn more about local voluntary solutions to coexistence challenges; examples of effective coexistence practices; and how these kinds of information and resources could be used in a variety of different ways to support coexistence.  We need to hear from as many commenters as possible in order to find partnerships and solutions that will work for U.S. agriculture.

Comments can be submitted online at!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0047-0001 or mailed to Docket No. APHIS-2013-0047, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. The deadline for comment submission is January 3, 2014.  Once the comment period closes, USDA will carefully review all information and feedback, and plan a future workshop to explore possible next steps.

10 Responses to “Agricultural Coexistence: Fostering Collaboration and Communication”

  1. Denece Vincent says:

    Co-existence has to include protections for organic farmers at all levels. It is not co-existing when your pesticide “drifts” over your neighbors field, or when your GMO corn pollen contaminates your neighbors heirloom crop rendering it useless for his purpose. I am one of many consumers who are trying our best to avoid any GMO crop until such time as they are tested and proved safe for consumption.

  2. NoGMO says:

    Obviously, the best way to coexist is if your invasive seeds drift onto your neighbor’s farm, you should attack him with an army of attorneys.

  3. Bosslady says:

    Dialogue and education are the best way to coexist. Getting people together in communities for weekly potlucks, agriculture societies and coops where growers get together and share ideas and stories seem the only way. Smaller, sustainable farms can better care for the soils and and communities. Corporate greed and Monsanto’s domination of global seed patents and GMOs are everyone’s enemy.

  4. Rashida Amahtullah says:

    I am networking from alabama and recently landowners, farmers won the pigford case. I envision unity globally in support of jobs and peace. I found a german company with new feeding for animals and also for humans. A recent study suggested that we go green and eat algae by 2050. I am promoting the biomass for energy and new investors can help us promote sudangrass.

  5. Frank Giacobbe says:

    I am the owner of F.G. Renewables Industries LLC , we are located in Austin,TX. At this time we are waiting for federal grants to go into affect for BCAP and REAP. Our purpose is harvesting stumping the Mesquite invasive specie tree on private lands and chipping the Mesquite into fuel chips. This would then be transported by rail to California power plants that have converted to biomass . This creates a better air Quality less carbon more jobs in Texas and California. Batter land for ranchers where harvested. Also better for cattle to graze on the lands .this is sustInable due to the fact Mesquite grows back on it’s own with it’s own natural resource it gets from the soil. This is a prime candidate for Biomass Crop Assisstance Program. Also REAP for the Farmers. These programs are needed to give the program the incentives needed.

  6. mike says:

    I love how the the letters GMO are not referenced in this article. Since GMO has been getting a bad wrap its best to just call it something else (GE) right?. Just another example of trying to slip something by.

    But all joking aside… I HAVE THE SOLUTION to this “coexistence” dilemma.

    Since GMO’s (GE) are causing organic farmers to be contaminated then farmers who choose to plant GMO (GE) seed should do so in an enclosed environment. Think about it… using an air filtered green house would keep pollen from crossing! Problem solved!

    But you are probably thinking… that would be crazy cost to do so! Yes, corn, soy and other GMO (GE) food would skyrocket way pas organic food but since GMO’s are so GREAT then their should be a demand for it right?

    P.S. thank you to alerting me to this issue!


    Now onto solving world peace… :)

  7. Nancy L Guard says:

    If I pollute water, there are laws against it, even if it is from runoff. Crops should not be authorized to do more. The seeds and required fertilizers are bankrupting farmers, which I believe is part of the plan. Monsanto has a poor history of agriculture and we don’t put the worlds food supply in the hands of deliberate, control-mad corporations. I want to eat organic. Best way to coexist is to stop letting Monsanto have a monopoly, and if a farmer can glean seed and replant, it should be that farmers rights.

  8. Rebecca says:

    Knowing that the GMO pollen is airborne, and will land anywhere, even on organic gardens, how can that be CO-Existing??? and how can the organic Gardner be responsible for GMO pollen coming to them. IT IS NOT NATURAL for seed not to reproduce it self, that is what it is suppose to do, Since most Americans are eating this UN-NATURAL and genetically modified food from these crops, no wonder we have more cancers, illness, mental and physical issues. if someone wants to grow GMO modified, I can’t stop them, but WHY punish those of us who want our food to come from a NATURAL source.

  9. Anupinder Rai says:

    What about coexist with rest of developed countries .When GMO food is labelled in rest of world and not in US.Why GMO companies don’t want independent organics farmers to work.

  10. Gail Blythe says:

    Don’t contaminate the organic food supplies. No one knows how these GMO products will affect our health in years to come. Are these GMO farmers eating their own crops? There is enough contamination in this world already. How is the earth going to be affected by all this?

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