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Agriculture

Moisture situation in Alberta following warm and dry first half of winter

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Agricultural Moisture Situation Update – January 3, 2024

Synopsis

This year’s El Niño has developed into a strong El Niño and currently has a 54% chance of developing into a “historically strong” event, according to NOAA. Current forecasts are projecting El Niño to diminish in April 2024. In the past for Alberta, not all El Niño’s have resulted in warmer and drier weather; however, this unusually warm and dry winter will forever be tied to the 2023-2024 El Niño and will serve as an important data point in the future.

In the 90-days since October 6, 2023, temperatures have remained well above average, with many parts of the northern-half of the province seeing temperatures this warm less than once in 50 years (Map 1). This coupled with low precipitation accumulations has resulted in virtually snow free
conditions across parts of all four of our agricultural regions
(Map 2).

Winter Precipitation Accumulations

November 1, 2023 to January 3, 2024

Since November 1st, the unofficial start to winter in Alberta, precipitation has been well below average across much of Alberta’s agricultural areas (Map 3).

Most of the lands south of Grande Prairie and north of Ponoka are estimated to have a winter thus far, this dry on average, less than once in 50-years. Dry conditions have also persisted across the Central and Southern Regions, ranging from a few widely scattered pockets of near normal to at least once in 25 year lows, centered around the Jenner area (approx. 200 km east of Calgary). Total accumulations currently range from less than 3 mm through parts of the North West and North East Regions up to only 20-30 mm along the foothills and through the western and northern portions of the Peace Region (Map 4).

For the dryer parts of the North West and North East Regions this translates to less than 10% of the 1991-2020 average (Map 5).

Elsewhere, most other lands have received precipitation accumulations that have generally been less
than 50% of the 1991-2020 average.

Perspective

From an annual moisture budget perspective, October through to March generally mark the dry season across the agricultural areas (Map 6), accounting for only about 20% of average annual accumulations across most of the Southern Region, to upwards of 30-35% across the Peace Region.

These significant moisture deficits thus far (50% of the way through the dry season), while discouraging to many, make up only a small portion of the annual moisture budget for an area. Winter is not over yet and if the current forecast is correct, a significant cold snap is on its way over the next few days and it is expected to persist well into next week, perhaps even longer. Along with the cold snap, there is also a forecast for moisture and the promise of at least some snow cover across many areas.

Spring is yet many weeks away and anything can happen between now and then. Furthermore, February on average, is the driest month of the year with most agricultural lands normally receiving less than 15 mm of moisture during this month (Map 6). Let’s hope, for the sake of our producers,
that we descend into at least near “normal” winter conditions and that we see one of Alberta’s famous weather reversals, with respect to moisture. Above average snow fall is very much needed now. Much of the land is extremely dry and has been held tenaciously in the grip of a long-lasting dry
cycle that needs to end soon!

Agriculture

The Enemies of Food Freedom

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From the Brownstone Institute

By TRACY THURMAN  

In every war, there is necessarily an enemy force, and the war on our food supply is no exception.

My previous article addressed the ongoing attacks on farmers across the globe. In today’s article, we will look at some of the culprits behind this agenda. For anyone who delved into the entities behind the tyrannical Covid policies, many names on the list below will seem quite familiar.

Bayer/Monsanto

Bayer merged with Monsanto in 2018, combining the companies responsible for Agent Orange and pioneering chemical warfare. In 1999, Monsanto’s CEO Robert Shapiro bragged that the company planned to control “three of the largest industries in the world—agriculture, food, and health—that now operate as separate businesses. But there are a set of changes that will lead to their integration.” Today these chemical manufacturers control a huge percentage of the world’s food supply.

Cargill and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Cargill is a World Economic Forum partner and the largest private company in the United States. This behemoth monopolizes unimaginably vast swaths of the global food industry, including meat processing in the United States. Cargill’s business practices, along with bigger-is-better policies enforced by their cronies at the United States Department of Agriculture, have led to the closures of many local abattoirs which forced farmers to depend on a few corporate mega-slaughterhouses. This leaves farmers waiting 14 months or longer for butchering slots, for which they often must transport their animals hundreds of miles—indeed, farmers and ranchers must book processing dates up to a year before the animal is even born. The high fees charged by Cargill’s slaughterhouses contribute to the skyrocketing price of meat—all while the farmers themselves are barely paid enough to cover the cost of raising the livestock. The USDA, meanwhile, makes sure their policies prevent farmers from processing meat themselves on their own farms.

Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust, the former owner of Glaxo before it merged with SmithKline, played a major role in Britain’s Covid debacle and is unapologetic about its goal of reducing your food sovereignty. Wellcome Trust funds Livestock, Environment and People (LEAP), an organization dedicated to developing and testing behavioral modifications to coerce the public into removing meat and dairy from their diets. LEAP’s co-director Susan Jeffs bemoans that motivating people with environmental impact labels on their foods does not seem to work: “People are already settled into very established habits” and suggests instead altering what the industry provides, thereby forcing consumer choice. Wellcome Trust researchers recommend “availability interventions” that “rely less on individual agency” to reduce access to animal food products. Researcher Rachel Pechey opines that “meat taxes show a promising evidence for effectiveness but have been less acceptable in survey work…we don’t want to just go for the most acceptable [solutions].”

The World Health Organization

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s Director-General, would like you to believe that food production is responsible for almost one-third of the global burden of disease. He calls for transforming the global food system toward plant-based foods, reducing meat and dairy in our intake, and enforcing policies to save the climate through restricting diet. A WHO 2022 report concluded that “considerable evidence supports shifting populations towards healthful plant-based diets that reduce or eliminate intake of animal products.”

World Economic Forum

You are likely familiar with the World Economic Forum and their Great Reset agenda. Visit their webpage and treat yourself to such morsels as 5 reasons why eating insects could reduce climate changewhy we need to give insects the role they deserve in our food systems, and why we might be eating insects soon. Suffice it to say that their plans for your dietary future are clear.

EAT Forum, the Lancet, and their Big Tech and Big Chemical Partners

The EAT Forum is “dedicated to transforming our global food system through sound science, impatient disruption and novel partnerships.” It was co-founded by the aforementioned Wellcome Trust, the Strawberry Foundation, and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. Their FRESH initiative—Food Reform for Sustainability and Health—aims to transform the global food system. Partners in the FRESH initiative include Google, Cargill, Syngenta, Unilever, Pepsico, and many chemical processors such as BASF, Bayer, and DuPont—a rather odd cast of characters for developing a healthy and sustainable dietary plan. EAT’s Shifting Urban Diets Initiative advocates for cities to adopt the Lancet-endorsed Planetary Health Diet, in which plant-based proteins are set to replace meat and dairy. Red meat is limited to 30 calories per day. A report drafted by EAT found that the transformation they want to foist upon our diets is “unlikely to be successful if left up to the individual,” and “require(s) reframing at the systemic level with hard policy interventions that include laws, fiscal measures, subsidies and penalties, trade reconfiguration and other economic and structural measures.”

The Rockefeller Foundation

Members of the Rockefeller family may carry more blame than anyone else in history for turning agriculture away from independent family farms towards corporate conglomerates.

In 1947, Nelson Rockefeller founded the International Basic Economy Corporation to modernize and corporatize agriculture in South America, particularly in Brazil and Venezuela. IBEC transformed farming to depend on expensive machinery and inputs that priced subsistence peasant farmers out of viability. The American International Association for Economic and Social Development (AIA), a Rockefeller-funded philanthropic organization, helped build the market through which IBEC could enrich its owners. While IBEC’s promotional literature claimed that the company was generously assisting the Third World by providing necessary consumer products while turning a profit, on closer examination, it was simply a business enterprise built on the Rockefellers’ old Standard Oil model, in which smaller competitors are forced out using monopolistic practices before prices are raised.

This tactic was taken to a whole new level with the so-called Green Revolution, first in Mexico in the 1940s, then in the Philippines and India in the 1960s, as well as in the United States. Traditional farming practices such as the use of manure as fertilizer for heirloom native crops were replaced with a model of mechanized chemical farming, using Rockefeller-funded new seed varieties which had been developed to require petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides to produce significantly increased crop yields compared to the traditional crops grown by peasant farmers in these countries.

It is worth noting that the Rockefellers, as oil oligarchs, stood to profit handsomely from the petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides that this new method demanded. The crops grown were almost all cereal crops like rice and replaced more nutrient-dense, traditional crops like millet. India experienced an increase in food but a decrease in nutrition: with more empty calories but fewer fruits, vegetables, and animal proteins, micronutrients disappeared from the diet. Anemia, blindness, fertility problems, low birth weight, and immune impairment increased.

While the Green Revolution was hailed as the solution to world hunger and poverty, it also poisoned local water supplies, depleted the soil, and left farmers drowning in debt as they could no longer independently produce the fertilizer and seeds they needed. Informed readers can see how the later Monsanto GMO Roundup-Ready seed model followed this playbook established by the Rockefellers.

In 2006, the Rockefeller Foundation, Bill Gates, and others pushed the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, or AGRA, and they again followed this proven playbook. Since AGRA’s launch, African biodiversity has been lost, and the number of severely undernourished people in sub-Saharan Africa has increased by nearly 50 percent, even by the UN’s own reports. Just as in India, farmers are being tricked into abandoning nutrient-dense, drought-resistant crops like heirloom millet in exchange for the empty calories of GMO corn. Hundreds of African organizations have demanded that this neocolonial project end, leaving the future of African agriculture in the hands of the native farmers who know the land best.

Now the Rockefeller Foundation has set its sights on the US food system with its Reset the Table agenda, handily launched in 2020 just weeks after the Great Reset was announced. Under rosy language calling for inclusivity and equity, the report states that “success will require numerous changes to policies, practices, and norms.” This includes a major focus on data collection and objectives that align closely with the One Health Agenda—more on that in a future article.

Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation

Bill Gates has followed the Rockefeller playbook for fumigating his fortune and transforming his image—while building more wealth—through the cynical ploy of philanthrocapitalism.

His fingers are deep in every public health pie, and his influence is nearly equal in the food wars. Besides financing the development of fake meats, he is behind the aforementioned AGRA program, is investing in geoengineering programs to dim the sun, and as of January 2021, owned 242,000 acres of prime US farmland, making him the largest private owner of farmland in the US. It is disconcerting to think that a man who believes we should phase out real meat controls so much of the method of production.

USAID and BIFAD

Another organization pushing you to eat bugs is USAID. This may surprise some of you who think of USAID as an organization dedicated to helping third-world countries, rather than as a longtime Trojan horse for CIA operations. (Skeptical of that claim? Go down the rabbit hole here and here and here and here.) Their Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, known as BIFAD, released a report titled “Systemic Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation.” This report calls for a complete transformation of the food supply and global agriculture. They propose to do this through ESG scores, carbon tracking, and eating insects.

So how do these organizations manage to push their agenda on the global population? We will cover that in a future article.

Author

Tracy Thurman is an advocate for regenerative farming, food sovereignty, decentralized food systems, and medical freedom. She works with the Barnes Law Firm’s public interest division to safeguard the right to purchase food directly from farmers without government interference.

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Agriculture

Diet, Injections, and Injunctions

Published on

From the Brownstone Institute

By TRACY THURMAN 

After the lockdowns of 2020 and the vaccine mandates of 2021, most Americans have heard about the idea of medical freedom and many have concerns about informed consent. One in four of our countrymen say they know someone who was seriously injured or killed by the Covid vaccines. The need for informed consent in medicine is apparent. But far fewer know anything about food freedom, or why it matters.

Medical freedom and food freedom are two sides of the same coin, and unless we fight to protect both, we will have neither.

Looking to the future in his 1951 book The Impact of Science on Society, the Nobel Prize-winning British mathematician, philosopher, and eugenicist Bertrand Russell forecast a future where the elites would use science as a means to control the population: “Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible. Even if all are miserable, all will believe themselves happy, because the government will tell them that they are so.” 

In The Scientific Outlook, Russell also wrote: “[In the future], [children’s] diet(s) will not be left to the caprices of parents, but will be such as the best biochemists recommend.”

While this likely sounded far-fetched to most of Russell’s contemporaries, his words capture our current era with alarming accuracy. In the past three years, millions of Americans saw their lives and livelihoods destroyed through injections and injunctions. Small businesses were decimated by the lockdowns. Legions of hard-working people faced ruin for demanding their right of informed consent – to evaluate the facts regarding any so-called medical treatment and to decide for themselves if they wanted it. They were fired for refusing the vaccine. They were killed with remdesivir. They died when doctors and bureaucrats denied them the truly safe and effective treatments they demanded, such as ivermectin.

Some of you are among the brave few who stood up in that moment and did what was right, to protect patients and vulnerable people at great cost to yourselves. I applaud you for this. You know first-hand what it means to have the boot of Injections and Injunctions on your face.

Now the third piece of the control grid Russell laid out must come into focus: diet. The battle to control you through what you eat is very real. It threatens to destroy what sovereignty we have left, and it is being perpetrated by the very same people who brought you “safe and effective injections” and “two weeks to slow the spread.”

The Covid lockdowns revealed the weakness of our overly centralized supply food chain on a global level. Government-mandated shutdowns disrupted food distribution hubs and shuttered meat processing plants, causing chaos, riots, and unrest worldwide as people scrambled to find food for their families. The situation deteriorated further when Russia invaded Ukraine, the breadbasket of Europe; numerous countries in Asia and Africa depended on Ukrainian grain for their sustenance. The decreased harvest drove up grain prices around the world, contributing to terrible food shortages for millions.

In 2023, 282 million people globally experienced high levels of acute hunger – an increase of 8.5 percent from 2022’s already elevated levels. In the United States, one in eight American households lacked adequate food in 2022, according to a report  from the US Department of Agriculture.

You’d think this would be the time to support farmers around the world who are trying to feed the hungry masses, and to encourage local food systems that are resilient in the face of supply-chain disruption. Instead, in country after country, World Economic Forum-affiliated leaders are cracking down on independent farmers and forcing them to comply with draconian new rules in the name of combating climate change.

In Sri Lanka, the World Economic Forum-affiliated Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe banned all chemical fertilizers in a bid to combat climate change, forcing farms to go organic overnight, something which any organic farmer will tell you is a recipe for disaster – making a change like this, even on a single farm, takes planning and time. Combined with an acute diesel shortage, this edict left farms unable to operate, leading to soaring food prices and famine. The situation became so dire that in 2022, hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans rioted, invaded the presidential palace, and overthrew their government.

In Ireland, the agricultural sector has been ordered to cut carbon emissions by 25% in the next seven years. This requirement will drive many farms into bankruptcy and will force the culling of hundreds of thousands of cows.

In Canada, the goal is fertilizer reduction of 30%, including reductions in manure use on organic farms – the only viable alternative to chemical fertilizer. Farmers are ringing the alarm bells that this policy will devastate the food supply. Even though milk prices are hitting record levels, Canadian officials still force farmers to dump their milk if they produce more than an arbitrary quota. Dairy owners are banned from giving the milk away to neighbors or homeless shelters. In Ontario, farmers cannot sell their milk directly to consumers at all, but must sell it to a single government-approved body which then decides how it is distributed.

In the Netherlands, the government is requiring a 30% reduction in livestock and mandating cuts in nitrogen of up to 95% – nitrogen that is released from cow manure and, if used properly, is an earth-friendly fertilizer. The government also plans to seize and shut down up to 3,000 farms to meet climate objectives. Protests by Dutch farmers have been met with force, including the police firing live ammunition rounds at protesters.

Denmark, Belgium, and Germany are considering similar nitrogen reduction policies. Both the UK and US have already put schemes into place to pay farmers not to farm. In huge areas of the Midwest, large corporations are seizing prime farmland by eminent domain to install solar farms – installations that could instead be built in sunny, arid deserts where they would not disrupt the food supply.

All of this is happening at a time when we need more food and farms, not a reduction.

In the United States, there are many small, regenerative organic farms that raise pastured meats, dairy, and poultry on perennial pastures, without the use of chemical fertilizers, using animal manure to feed the grasses in a beautiful holistic cycle that is environmentally friendly and has starkly lower methane and carbon emissions compared to industrial farming. It reduces nitrogen runoff into rivers and streams and prevents erosion. If our government truly cared about climate change and human health, bureaucrats and scientists would be visiting these farms, begging to learn how to implement their methods to save the planet. Instead, these farmers are facing increased harassment and raids by armed agents seeking to shut down their operations.

You may have heard about Amos Miller, the Amish farmer from Lancaster, Pennsylvania who has been facing persecution from the CDC, FDA, and USDA for 7 years now for the unforgivable crime of providing raw milk and farm-processed, non-USDA inspected meats to customers who know what they are getting and want it exactly that way. We’ll get into why his customers want non-USDA-inspected meats later in this series. But for now, know that such raids are frequent and are threatening our ability to access local, healthy, environmentally friendly meats and dairy.

Since 2020 there has been a significant increase in the number of unexplained fires and other events damaging farms, barns, food warehouses, food pantries, and the food supply chain in general, prompting the FBI to warn that the food system is under threat from cyberattacks.

So why is this happening? Why is our food supply being disrupted, seemingly on purpose? And who is behind this global assault on our farmers?

Author

Tracy Thurman is an advocate for regenerative farming, food sovereignty, decentralized food systems, and medical freedom. She works with the Barnes Law Firm’s public interest division to safeguard the right to purchase food directly from farmers without government interference.

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