This week we are releasing three more recordings from the Dartmouth Symposium. Click here to view our interview with Enid Wonnacott. Enid died this winter after serving for many years as the Executive Director of NOFA VT. This was recorded at the NOFA Summer Conference in 2018. Enid was being interviewed by Lisa Stokke for the Real Organic Project. I was sitting right next to Enid as she talked. She knew that her cancer had returned and her time with us was probably short. It is a very touching conversation with Enid in the last year of her life.
Enid shaped NOFA VT and NOFA VT shaped Enid. I remember her as the young woman who came to lead our young organization so many years ago. Enid was bright and creative, but it was her generous heart that made her important to so many lives.
When Davey Miskell and I first discovered the hydroponic invasion of organic, we turned to Enid. She set up a meeting at the Vermont Secretary of Agriculture’s office with Chuck Ross, NOSB member Jean Richardson, Davey, Enid, and me. That meeting was the beginning of the movement to Keep The Soil In Organic, and marked our first halting steps into political organizing to reform the National Organic Program.
As Keep The Soil organized rallies and petitions, Enid spoke at three of those rallies. She was our constant champion, showing our last-minute rally videos for two years at the plenary session of the Winter Conference. Despite every minute already being spoken for, Enid said she would fit it in somehow, and she did.
When we came back from the Jacksonville NOSB meeting, we were stunned and defeated. So many had traveled to Florida, only to be told we were wrong about what organic really stood for. A few weeks later, Enid offered the NOFA headquarters for the impromptu meeting of farmers that was the starting point for the Real Organic Project.
So on top of all the other reasons we have to be grateful for having Enid in our lives, her real contribution to the Real Organic Project is yet another. Enid was always concerned that taking a public stand of opposition on every issue might damage the reputation of organic. I once asked her if she thought that that the hydro invasion was such a case, and she said no, on this we must stand.
I am adding two other videos from the Symposium. Click here to see the talk of Texas farmer Cameron Molberg. His Greener Pastures is one of our pilot farms. His talk shows the stark contrast between a real organic, pasture-based, chicken farm and the CAFO detention camps that are now the standard in certified organic egg production. Cameron also serves on the ROP Standards Board. Cameron knows what he is talking about.
Finally, click here to see the talk given by Paul Muller. Paul is a great organic farmer and also a great leader of our movement. His talk celebrates the constantly evolving soil and human community at Full Belly Farm in Guinda, California. Paul serves on our Standards Board and our Development Task Force.
Please watch these talks! They are powerful and important. They are interesting. If you can afford to, support them by making a contribution. If they touch you, share this letter with as many friends as possible.