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A Look At Sustainable Agriculture

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Date and time
Thursday, April 16, 2020

To mark Earth Day, John Marzluff, author of _In Search of Meadowlarks_, outlines a personal approach to sustainable agriculture. Through an ornithologist’s lens, he observes current farming practices to see if we can broker a more harmonious relationship between our birds, farms, food and land. Joining the conversation is Ronnie Cummings, author of _Grassroots Rising_ and International Director of OCA, Organic Consumers Association, and Michael Chuisano, owner and farmer of The Naked Farm in New York.

**John Marzluff** studies how humans affect birds through habitat fragmentation and increased urbanization, as well as the challenges of conserving birds on islands. He focuses primarily on corvids—that is, ravens, crows, and jays—but he has also worked with falcons and hawks throughout the world. Conversely, he is also interested in all the ways that birds affect people—how, for instance, birds influence art, or language. In addition to his research, he has written several popular science books about crows, including, most recently, Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans. In recognition of his work, he has been awarded the H.R. Painton Awards from the Cooper Ornithological Society, as well as the Washington State Book Award for general non-fiction.
**** Ronnie Cummins is co-founder and International Director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and its Mexico affiliate Via Organica. Cummins has been active as a writer and activist since the 1960s, with extensive experience in public education, grassroots mobilization, and marketplace pressure campaigns. Over the past two decades he has served as director of US and international campaigns dealing with sustainable agriculture issues including food safety, genetic engineering, factory farming, and global warming. From 1992-98 Cummins served as a campaign director for the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington, D.C. In 1998, Cummins co-founded the Organic Consumers Association, the largest network of organic consumers in the USA. In 2009 Cummins founded Via Organica, a network of organic consumers and farmers based in Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato. Cummins is a frequent lecturer, both in the US and abroad as well as a regular contributor to online publications such as Organic Bytes, Common Dreams, Truthout, Huffington Post, and Nation of Change.
**Michael Chuisano** is a farmer in New York. He grows a variety of produce, including lettuce, beets, radishes and arugula, at his small East Marion farm using a bio-intensive, no-till agricultural method. He is the former owner of LaFayette Mirror and Glass Company in Brooklyn before retiring and discovering his love of farming.