Field Guides to Food

Nick Jordan, all video

Nicholas Jordan is a leader in the field of program development with a focus in the uniting of traditional agriculture and conventional agriculture with land stewardship and other aspects of the food chain such as public health, nutrition, soil quality etc. He talks about the two main projects he was a part of, the Landscape Human and Animal Health Initiative and the latter Green Lands and Blue Waters. He goes into detail on how they were good and how they were challenging to continue in. One of the major difficulties they found to come up against often was the lack of people power to keep things moving and bringing theory into life. He talks about their experiences where theory did not meet the road very well and gives life examples. 

00:00~07:59 Overview of the different projects he has been a part of.
 Here he describes some of the ways the U of M has participated in the development of programs such as Landscape Human and Animal Health Initiative (5:07) which later transformed into Green Lands and Blue Waters. He discusses what it means to be a land grant university (0:51), and he also answers questions at the College of Agriculture (2:11). Different challenges he faces are also addressed (4:33).

08:00~10:59 Enterprise development
Here he describes and defines what enterprise development is. There are basically four parts to it:
1. It is meant for reorganization of concerns and visions for agriculture.
2. Addressing the way we farm versus the land we have and what style is appropriate.
3. How to raise cattle; grazing versus annual field crops.
4. Renewable Energy
Here he also describes what the emerging possibilities are in agriculture (9:44).

11:00~18:45 How "Organization" happened
He gives detailed descriptions and stories of the different organizations that came alongside the initiative (12:35). He especially talks about the Nature Conservancy which focused on gaining land in order to preserve it. He discusses how his perspectives on understanding agricultural practices may be changing (14:43), as well as what the Green Lands and Blue Waters were about (17:31). 

(13:45~14:01) "It is impossible to preserve these sites if they ignore the larger matrix of agricultural land use."

18:46~23:38 Forming Relationships
Nicholas talks about the three legged table that was used to organize the changes needed for the transformation. The three legs are: Main stream environmental organizations, Agricultural organizations and Universities/Student Organizations. He also discusses his recognition (21:32).

23:39~28:16 Setting out to walk the walk
Nicholas talks about the challenges they have faced in the process of developing the reformed organization, and discusses his goals for securing more support (27:20). 

28:17~41:57 How to move forward from the present time?
 Here the question of how an organization that has the theories can move forward and make a difference in the real world (34:26). Nicholas's answer was that larger companies and smaller companies could unite to form farmer cooperatives (35:29) and help construct a system where renewable energy and bio refineries were used. He mentions how there are great ideas, but without structure to move forward, all they are, are ideas. He also discusses his specific interests in agricultural systems (30:00), including Willow Grass (38:10), and the innovations in Shakopee, MN (30:50).

(28:28~29:00) "What would it take to get the whole notion of enterprise development and new livelihood related to the changes in agriculture land usage?"

41:58~End He concludes the discussion with what he thinks would be the best way for the renovation of the organizations would be. He talks about "price makers" and "price takers" (42:21), and shares his belief that if farmer co-ops could own the ideas, land, and funds, then everything would work out well. He stresses the importance of using the state of the art methods. Then, Nicholas offers his ideas of developing an institution to "bring folks together" (49:51), as well as what this would look like and the ethics behind an institution (50:50).

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