Episode-704- Listener Feedback for 7-18-11 — 71 Comments

  1. Hey yall. I sent a letter to the editor to three different local newspapers in our area last friday. I am local to this story but very few people have heard about it. I am outraged about it.

  2. Oh the lemon aid saga goes on and on. In Portland Oregon last year & this year it’s this kind of BS. When I was 7/8 yrs old I would go to the local moter cycle shop and dry the outside bikes when it rained ( who would want to try a bike with a wet seat. If you didn’t try it you wouldn’t buy it was my thought) Then dust the inside bikes. ( As an adult I know the owner got a kick out of it) Worked on rainy days only. On sunny days would help weed moms garden she of course wouldn’t pay but I could have the extra squash . Then would load my wagon and go around door to door to sell it. I remember one guy answered the door and yelled at me 7/8 yrs old because I didn’t have licences. I didn’t even know what that was. He said he would sick the dogs on me and call the cops. I ran spilling my wagon. By the time I got home I was so scared. I really needed that money to buy food for my gerbils and sick squirls I would find and nurse back to health. I was so mad and wanted to protect my animals. I went back and got my squash out of his yard well what was left. I can say that experience did stiffel me a tad. But mostly was the birth of my so called bad attitude (as mom called it). Always question athority.

    I don’t understand why these kids can’t run a kid based business with kid based guide lines if they wanted. Maybe they could get a special license for .25 -$1.00 maybe have the have a basic food handlers verbal question test to pass. questions like If you picked your nose is it ok to stir the lemonade with your hand. Just very simple stuff basic things. Not so they are regulated hard but so they can learn stuff they may other wise not learn. I would make it optional and then they can say well my stuff has a special sticker so you know it’s good. As I kid I would have loved that. It sure would have shut that guy up. Oh I could have hung that up on my wall. But over all what the “powers that be” are doing I feel is misuse of their power and such crap!

    I am putting a rush on getting my ducks don’t even know if I wanted them but now have to have them cuz “They” are saying I can’t.

    Can’t have a wood cook stove can’t raise a garden in the front yard kids can’t learn responsibility or make money can’t raise the live stock you want so when people make their own fuel woodgas solar wind biofuel what ever can’t do that either can’t can’t can’t . I feel that attitude just a boiling.

  3. @Jack,

    I like the Agri-True (however that is spelled) idea. I have a question about the third party certification/verification. I’m not predicting this, but what means is there to make the consumer trust the third-party?

    Thinking about corruption–what would keep an unprincipled third party from providing “verification” without actually holding them to a standard? My concern is that just one fraud in that system would do a lot of damage to the system as a whole.

    To answer my own question–exposure as a fraud is the punishment–which is basically how a free market works, but if the third-party verifier is exposed as a fraud (or perhaps just inaccurate), what prevents them from simply walking away. “Oops, we were wrong, they actually did use GMO.”

    Don’t get me wrong–I like the whole concept of consumer-based “regulation” which requires the sort of information you are looking to help provide (Through this system), but unless there is a penalty of some sort for fraud, it cannot work. Perhaps literal legal “Fraud” is enough protection. That is actually the system I think our Nation should have–the consumer makes decisions based on the claims of the producer, which is the truth. If it isn’t the truth, then that’s where the law (government) becomes involved, because it is illegal to defraud someone.

    Interesting idea, and one I’d like to see grow.

    • @KAM

      People will struggle with it at first but unlike the scam that is the USDA such groups have to compete with each other. Again FREE MARKET SYSTEM. IF someone sets up a scam group well when buyers start reporting those certified by the group and AgriTrue finds the charges valid, we invalidate the group.

      Cool huh? No congressional sub committee, now appropriations bill, certification credibility yanked! Again realize all producers have a producer profile. Photos, questions, etc.

      Not to mention if it took off and people scammed the system all their legitimate customers would flip over to a valid supplier just from bad press probably before we canned them.

      There are so many problems that stop being problems if there is no government or entitlement in a system.

      • @Jack,

        Well, you’re right–that is how a free-market system is supposed to work. Maybe I’m suffering from not having seen an actual free market in so long that I forgot how it works. 🙁

        Again–I like it, but it will be a change for many people away from their nanny-state lives.

        I’m still a bit unclear on how the third-party would be validated in the first place however. I guess it would be akin to Underwriter’s laboratory.

        • @KAM, we will have to build a program for Third Party Validation Providers. It will be a simple guide book basically on verification of the minimum standards.

          The higher level certification is EASY, don’t you get it. The producer profile is all the certifier needs! The producers set their own “additional standards”. Sort of like ISO certification, you can do what ever you want if you meet minimum standards but if you say you do more, you got to do what you say you do.

  4. Regarding AgriTrue:

    Would this be a standard on a per product basis? For example, perhaps my tomatoes are AgriTrue but my goats are treated in terribly inhumane ways.

    Or maybe it could/would be available on both an individual product basis (as above) as well at different levels, like an entire facility level.

    E.g.: The guy across the way there, his entire farm is AgriTrue.

    • @blueprint, Not sure totally on that but as a basic concept yes but I don’t know how I feel about that. Abusing any animal is not cool with me.

      But say you have a cornfield you grow in a conventional manner but a veggie plot that you do in a “beyond organic” way that is even better than organic or AgriTrue what reason could I give for not allowing your peppers and tomatoes to be called AgriTrue. I guess a question on the survey could be “is your operation 100% AgriTrue, If not, which of your products fail to meet the AgriTrue standard”.

      My gut though is anyone who would want to be in this would strive to be 100%. Part of why I don’t want to be a health Nazi with the standard.

      • I don’t actually have goats, I was being a bit hyperbolic.

        I interpret Paul Wheaton as being of the opinion that any chicken kept in a cage containing any of its own poop is basically being treated inhumane. It’s clearly an objective thing.

        In any case, I think allowing a product-level certification brings more suppliers into the game. There are so many people in the world, of course there is going to be a lot of variety in how people do things. At the very least it may be the case that someone is starting up a new crop (e.g. just getting into rabbits) and it takes a while to learn enough about rabbits to get it up to the AgriTrue standard. If that process causes a loss of certification on other products, it could cause a situation where some producers have a disincentive to expand into new products.

      • @bluprint, on the product level stuff. I think animals and plants are different there. If you are AgriTrue with your corn it is hard to believe your peas won’t also be so.

        On animals that is more specific to the species, if that makes sense.

        I also think Paul is a great guy but his views on chickens are beyond me. Chickens in a chicken tractor are happy and productive. Chickens with a chicken house and a multi run system are basically on a mini paddock system anyway. When it comes to tractors Joel Salitin uses them, Paul’s problem though I love him is marriage to an idea. He finds what he sees as “best” then discounts anything else.

        Paddocking chicken is awesome! It is not however the only way. You can do free range, tractoring, etc. We all know a modern chicken house is terrible but many people have been keeping chickens in ways other than a paddock successfully for years with no illnesses, no problems, etc. and they have happy healthy birds. As a kid our birds were confined to the “chicken yard” (fenced area around their chicken house) for about half the day, then released for a few hours in the evening to free range. They were awesome for meat, always healthy and gave great eggs. Just because they don’t get Paul’s happy face stamp doesn’t really mean anything to me.

        In short if you want a system that works you must take the in put of the people making a living selling and growing food.

        I am all for treating animals with ethics and giving them freedom of movement commiserate with their needs. I am also totally opposed to any level of Anthropomorphism. Animals are not people.

        Lastly again FREE MARKET, you want paddocked chickens in the end you search your local providers for those that do it that way and give them your business. If you can’t find any you tell those in your area it is what you want, they tell you why or why not that won’t work. You make your choice from there.

  5. What I’ll do to promote liberty today: Plant some huge tomato plants, amaranth and more veggies in my front yard, it’s time for secession planting anyway. Maybe that’s where my fall garden will go. Next Help my kids set up a lemonade stand, it would be there 3rd one this year. I’ll make sure to call the Sheriff and have him come by and buy some. I also feel like doing some target practice, firing a rifle sounds good for some reason today.

    Also on the to-do list: picking zucchini, summer squash, some greens etc for dinner, fire up the dehydrator and preserve some. And let as many people know what I’m doing, so they can participate.

  6. I have to say that Jack’s rant on the Lemonade-stand case cracked me up. Of course, it isn’t really funny.
    What the lemonade was made with…right…and perhaps a bit of little kid saliva (from tasting). Yeah, if you don’t want to “risk” that…well don’t buy any.

    Other than power-made local officials, I think there is something larger at play here–that is many people have been raised to resent accomplishment. These little girls are trying to EARN something. Even the innocent attempt to sell lemonade is a threat to people who worship at the altar of government.
    “How dare these little girls think that they have the RIGHT to try and earn money by selling Lemonade. Not unless we say so.”

    How about some simple judgement? Are we really relying on police and government that has such a total lack of judgement that REQUIRES them to close down a lemonade stand?

    When I see a kid with a Lemonade stand, I am always a bit saddened, because I know that this sort of old-fashioned notion (earning money) is not long for this world in today’s society. Pretty soon, kids are going to say “What’s a lemonade stand”–thanks to people like these jerks.

  7. You are so right about the land driving the food prices and the problem is when a people start buying land that way the only thing they are going to care about is profit….. Hello distruction, we can already see what that is going to get us.

  8. I really like the Agri-True idea. One thing that bugs the hell out of me about the organic (and “Certified naturally grown”) movement is that they restrict things that I consider tolerable.

    You are correct that if one of my animals gets sick, I’d be content to give an antibiotic- just like I would do for myself. If you toss a little fertilizer in for heavy feeders like corn how is that different from a synthetic vitamin at home. It is the same with my honeybees: there was a great article in Bee Culture a few months back where an entomologist pointed out that he really doesn’t ever want to medicate his hives, but he’s so sickened at his losses that he might appropriately treat them: he wants to keep them alive most of all.

    The other thing is pressure treated wood. Steel posts are expensive and take a lot of energy to produce. Hedge posts are an option, but good straight ones are tricky to find in quantity. Certainly a grow bed or vegetable trellis with PT is not as safe, but why not the fence post that keeps the chickens and pigs in?

    • Likewise, I could never be organic because I don’t know what my neighbors apply to their land. I am reasonably assured that the guy up the road fertilizes and pesticides. It may hit my property when I draw water out of the creek to irrigate. I get a load or three of manure from him each year, and there is possibly some fertilizers or wormers in it, and I have no way to know which is which.

      • @Tyrtaeus, I think you get! No one can really guarantee no pesticides or herbicides at this point in our existence. All they can guarantee is that they don’t add any to the mix.

        You can’t guarantee no GMO any longer do to cross pollination with corn you can guarantee you don’t use GMO seed and don’t spray your corn with atrazine.

        If you use manure and it is high in round up residue and don’t use GMOs it won’t be a problem for your customers because until it filters down, you won’t be growing much.

        I am also with you on fertilizer! Fertilizer in and of itself is NOT harmful, it is not like a pesticide or an herbicide. The issue with fertilizer is that it is relied on to the exclusion of any soil care. This is why I was thinking something like for each pound of fertilizer you have to use 7 lbs of natural soil improvements, not sure that is the right ratio, I need more real world producer input on that.

        I do know this if a person like you said uses some NPK for corn but uses say 20 lbs of it for a stand of corn and in the same year applies 140 lbs of natural soil amendments that soil will be rich, full of life and more fertile the second year than the first. If they also plant a nitrogen fixing crop in a rotation and till the green into the soil it will be even better.

  9. An idea for the Agri-Tru idea.
    If you have it have a minimum standard and then have questions to see how far beyond the base level they are willing to go.

    For example the minimum standard for squash is less than 1/4 fertilizer. Only organic pesticides. No herbicides.
    Then have questions of Long term soil amending processes, no pesticides, etc. that describe how far beyond the minimum requirements that person is willin to be. Then when you use your smart phone and pull up that farmer’s profile it would tell you that they are Agri-Tru and how they answered all the questions. Then we as the concumer can say that we want to buy their product or not.

    This shouldn’t inhibit any one entering, but would also allow those who want to go beyond a a chance to without having to start yet another brand.

    • @Joe, that is very close to what I am saying. Now it has to be more generic, we can’t have a squash standard, a tomato standard, etc.

      What we can do is set the minimum standard, provide a survey that will give the consumer access to any additional information the market wants and empower the producer to provide as much additional information as they wish to.

      • @Jack,

        I am wondering at what point the consumer gets overwhelmed with Data. I personally like having a lot of information, but some people respond better to a more…graphical system. Someone suggested a “X-Star” system, which has advantages, but I think people will automatically go for the one with the most stars, without evaluating it further.

        So, it seems like a fine line. You seem to be talking about nothing beyond the minimum standard as far as “ranks” or “ratings” which maximizes the evaluation end of things, and long-term I think is best, but has a steeper learning curve.

        I assume that there would be an educational resource from AgriTrue that informs people about what these various things mean, otherwise they might end up being confused by terms they aren’t really familiar with (like people are now by organic).

        Maybe this is getting too complicated, but instead of having a standard for each type of product, you could have a minimum standard and then a specific (higher) standard for categories–Fertilizer, Pesticide, Herbicide, antibiotics, etc–just a binary system while providing specific information if someone doesn’t happen to meet the higher standard.

        For example under “Antibiotics” there could be “Antibiotic certified” but if they don’t have that it would be replaced by detailed information “We only use Antibiotics to treat sick animals, which are not…processed for a minimum of X weeks.”

        Just some thoughts. Simple, yet informative is that sweet spot, I’m sure you’re shooting for.

      • Maybe AgriTrue isn’t even a standard but rather an information sharing thing.

        Maybe everyone can be AgriTrue, which only “certifies” they have shared information about production processes. Provide a way for producers to answer any questions that get submitted by customers.

        For instance, I personally would be interested in whether beef was grain-finished or not. And whether fish is grain-fed. Maybe others don’t care about that and the producer might not even be aware that some people think its an issue. Once the producer finds out some people think it is an issue, they can then publish information on their AgriTrue profile indicating the relevant methodology (if they choose to do so).

      • @KAM and @Bluprint,

        Listen to today’s episode and read the document I provided. There has to be a minimum standard, this is for the consumer so they can know a basic standard is met.

        As for info overload, no not gonna happen. Why, most people have their own pet concerns, they don’t want to know everything. The producer profile will allow the person to simply get the info they want.

        I appreciate your in put but in some ways you are trying on some level to complicate the simple. Again read the doc and listen to todays show it will make more sense I think.

        • @Jack,

          Well, I agree simple is good. I guess the minimum standard is broad enough that it will provide that simple baseline. I suppose people who want to go beyond that will be willing to put the work into reading/analyzing things.

          I read the document, and I am not an expert on growing and raising, so it sounds fairly comprehensive to me. I’m sure others can contribute there.

          I’m going to start another post on the verification issue below.

  10. I think I will study up on how to run for city counsel. I’m on SSDI and starving. I get only $751 mo to “live” on and O bomb A is threatening to cut us all off. I did not ask to be disabled. But my brain works just fine. And if I want to make a REAL difference then I need to run for SOMETHING. Anyone who can give me advice, links, tutorials…anything………..please do. Jack, you say we need to do our part to make a difference and you’re right and the best way to do that is by going inside the belly of the monster.

  11. The Russians used to say Americans would sell the rope to those that would hang us. I think we already have. We used to think this meant we would sell ourselves the the Russians. Actually, it meant we would bow at the alter of big government to get “our” share. Although, looking at what we owe the Chinese, we may be pretty close to our old way of thinking. Our country has become only a shadow of what we once were. The utter stupidity demonstrated by our elected officials and government workers attest to this.

  12. Any time I see a kid set up shop on the street I always buy may not always eat or drink for real (have had to fake a sip or two) but always buy. Sent in donation to the they look great. What a wonderful idea. I think that Oak Park lady should hook up with them. Also email their link to all on my list so they may donate or pass on for someone who needs seeds.

  13. Jack, please contact a lawyer and discuss the expense and the viability of trying to protect the word “Agri-Tru” by applying for trademarks, regstering domain names, and registering FaceBook Pages, Yahoo accounts, Google accounts, WordPress accounts, YouTube pages, MySpace pages, etc with ALL the variations on “Argri-Tru.”

    Ask the lawyer about getting the following into your posession ASAP:




    And good luck with this whole effort. It’s sorely needed and I think it has an awesome shot at totally working exactly the way you intend it to work. I just hope that after all your efforts it doesn’t fall by the way side the same way that “Mr. Yuck” did and “The Real Seal” did.

  14. Another great show, Jack. I sent you a rather lengthy email from a police officer’s (me) perspective on the lemonade stand portion of the show. Sorry it was long, but I thought it was important. I know you’ve mentioned having a police officer on the show to answer lots of questions around this type of governmental douchebaggery (where do I sign up to be on the show?), so I thought a different perspective might be helpful for some folks who are outraged by the lemonade stand debacle. Thanks!

  15. Jack-the listener feedback shows are so boring!!! I do not really care about what the listeners say or think.

    I want to hear YOU, especially on economics/survival.

    • @Gary2, then don’t listen to those. I personally CARE A GREAT DEAL about what the listeners say and think. This show would not be worth two shits if I didn’t.

      • I don’t listen to those. Is there any way you can cut the listener feedback to 1x per month? Just wanted to leave feedback as other than the listener feedback shows the rest are usually pretty good.

        For what its worth I also said this to Clark Howard about the horribly boring callers to his show. I figured out a way to just get his monologue.

        Again if the listeners had much worthwhile to say they would have their own show. myself included.

    • @Gary2, sounds to me then like you get 4 shows a week, I care to much about the hundreds of calls I get to ignore them because you don’t like them.

  16. If there is nothing wrong with your brain, then you are not disabled. There are plenty of thinking jobs around. Yea I have a bad back but I still work 50+ hours a week.

  17. LOL “I don’t know if I want a student cutting my hair”
    You could get a crew-cut if all else fails.

    Sorry I forgot to sign my email.


  18. Jack,

    Love the name AgriTrue. I had been racking my brain for the last year to come up with something similar… but I wanted a good name. TruFood, RealFood, HonestFood… they were all taken. Your idea has really inspired me. As a physician, I am very concerned with how the modern agricultural system is slowly killing us. I see AgriTrue as having the potential to be huge, and it just plain makes good sense.

    I had mentioned previously about Joel Salatin’s “Beyond Organic”, but my thought is not that it is Organic Plus, just that it is “organic” that makes sense… the way the term was originally meant. If you have a cow that has an infection, you need to use an antibiotic to save the animal’s life. Just don’t use it preventively for all animals – especially when they are already healthy!

    Have you thought about having some sort of category a producer can be listed under? As you said, there would be a baseline requirement to be called an AgriTrue Producer, but then there could be additional categories… called something like “Promise Producers” (just off the top of my head). For each additional requirement/production method that a producer promises to follow, they give another “Promise” to the consumer. So in addition to meeting the baseline requirements for raising chickens, they also promise that these chickens have (for example) been only free range, not been given antibiotics ever, not been fed GMO grains, etc. If they agree to seven additional “promises to the consumer”, they could be listed as a “Seven Promise Producer”. Obviously, this could change as the producer’s requirements change. If his flock got sick and they needed antibiotics, then he would have to update his information and be a “Six Promise Producer” for a while.

    The Baseline Requirements would be the things that MUST be followed to be an AgriTrue Producer. Then there could be a list of 7-10 additional requirements that are the “Ideal” or goal… basically, if all things were perfect, what is the ideal way a food animal or plant is raised. Then a producer has a goal to strive for to have an even better rating, yet can still be an AgriTrue producer that consumers know they can trust.

    Just my thoughts.
    Doc K

  19. @Jack,

    The more I think about this AgriTrue idea, the more I like it. Please let the listeners know if we can do anything to help.

    I’m not really into “organic” food, and I’m a novice (poor) gardener, and I’m not likely to be in the food producing business, but I rejoice at the possibility of actually seeing a Free Market system working, so best of luck.

  20. Great video with the young girl and her potato project.

    I’d like to see the face of the produce man after he views it. I’ll bet he isn’t aware of the garbage he is selling.

  21. As a physician, here are some of the things I would love to see as part of the baseline requirements for AgriTrue Producers:

    1. No GMO used by the producer
    2. No prophylactic antibiotics (treatment antibiotics for a specific infection are okay)
    3. No man made pesticides applied by the producer
    4. No man made herbicides applied by the producer
    5. No hormonal supplements used by the producer
    6. No growth stimulator, inhibitors, or any other man made chemicals or substances applied to the plant or animal to maximize growth, shelf-life, or appearance
    7. Minimal use of man made fertilizer (very subjective… not sure how to quantify this one, but I would want to encourage the practice of naturally increasing soil fertility)

    Doc K

  22. Had a few more that were dealing mainly with animals:

    8. Free access to sunshine and fresh air
    9. “Healthy” stocking rates per area of confinement (obviously varies between species. This one is also a bit tough since I think there is little information available for this. Modern Agriculture tries to find out how close animals can live together and still produce reliable “product”… I’d like to keep animals in a more healthy environment.)
    10. Easy avoidance of their own excrement (solids, liquids, and gases… confined with ammonia is aweful!)
    11. Minimize the use of foods that the animal would not normally eat in nature (i.e. cattle eating grain, fish eating pellets, etc.)
    12. Killing and processing done in a humane and clean environment (again very subjective… not sure about the criteria on this one)

    Doc K

  23. I found the info you presented today 7/18/11 to be very informative. I have been involved in Production Agriculture for many years as a Farmer and now as a Landlord. The more disconnected the producer comes from owning the land the poorer production on the land will be and the quality of the land will not be maintaned.

    I am already seeing the effect in my area of farms being mined for there resources. Operators who are not sure if they will have the land they are farming next year because of the cut throat bidding for farm land will not operate in the best interest of the land.

    As a land owner that still lives on the land I care how my land is used. I care how the neighbor that rents my farm land uses it. The type of chemicals used in production, the amounts of commercial fertilizer used. I care about the quality of the soil and how it is tilled. I do not want my land plowed and conventionally tilled unless it is necessary to repair a major problem. I even get on a tractor and help occasionally just to stay connected to the land. I enjoy walking my land and seeing the wild life that lives on it.

    I personally will not take the top dollar offered for rent if that Farmer is not up to my standards.

    The fact that more and more land will be owned by people who can only see $$$$$$$ is a security concern most people can not see or understand. Very interesting how this will play out as land prices a driven up. I remeber well the land crash of the ’80’s’. Anyone that will to spend $10,000.00 an acre for production farm land is taking a hugh risk.

    Farming is one of the only forms of production were you cannot set your price to production costs. Farmers work at a very high level of risk for reward.

    Keep up the good work Jack.

  24. @Jack,

    Listening to the show and reading the document, I think the Ebay model is interesting. Here’s a few differences I see–not as a criticism, but hopefully to help.

    Consumer policing. Well, I have no ability to discern the difference between GMO corn and non-GMO corn–as a consumer. I don’t think I can taste the difference. With Ebay, I know if I didn’t get the product I agreed to buy, because it is Damaged, switched out for something else, didn’t arrive, etc. There is an easily discernible criteria.
    With food, a consumer can comment on whether the food is “good”–tasting, smelling, delivered in good condition, etc, but I don’t see how a consumer can verify whether pesticides are used or not (for example). Of course, we can’t verify that “organic” standards are met either.

    So, it may be that the only endorsement that has any value is that of other producers–who have the expertise to judge whether or not someone is meeting the standards. Also, this seems to require that people physically go and inspect the producers locations–which takes time (and money). For that to happen, someone has to be generous with their time/money or be able to profit from it themselves.

    Also–the Punishment hanging over the heads of Ebay sellers is banishment (for egregious violations) or effective banishment for having a bad rating. There is a site that people must go to, in order to engage in these trades. I don’t see an analog with that here. You can revoke their status on the site you control, but all you’ve got beyond that I think is a “Cease and desist” order if someone uses AgriTrue without meeting the standards. No one needs to come to your site to complete the transaction with the (corrupt) producer. By design, there is no enforcement of punishment. They don’t have to come to your site to do business. The onus is totally on the consumer to come to search out the verification and makes sure the producer is in good standing.

    Now, you might be thinking this is being negative, but it isn’t–I’m basing these questions/issues on the fact that the consumer don’t have at hand a clear way of verifying/endorsing producers by applying an objective criteria (other than satisfaction). Second, I think people are going to have to be re-educated in how to actually engage in a free market system, because that’s been largely bred out of us.

    None of this should be taken to say “don’t do it,” but rather, I think verifying things isn’t as simple as it might seem.

    So, to sum up two issues:
    1) How does a consumer discern objectively (scientifically) verify things about the product, just by using it (As opposed to sending it out for testing)? If they can’t then consumer based verification is not possible.
    2) Is there a strong enough “punishment” built into the system to prevent fraud. Or is the banishment/bad press apparent enough that it is punishment enough on its own (like with poor feedback on ebay).
    Of course “bad feedback” is coupled with the first issue as well. You have to have a means to know you’ve been defrauded in order to give “bad feedback.”

    I’m afraid I don’t know the answers to these issues at the moment. I think your concept of a third-party (for profit) verification is the answer to a lot of this, but how that is profitable is the question, without being a burden on the producers. If it isn’t profitable, then what is the motivation to do it, and keep doing it continually?

    Of course nothing worth doing is easy, so…good job so far.

    • @KAM in response to your two questions.

      1. What part of free market do you fail to understand? First you get the producers pledge, second you KNOW who the producer is, if you doubt them ask them to show you what you need to see to believe them. This ain’t for WalMart!

      2. The market does the punishing.

      The problem is government standards have been our conditioning for so long we have trouble letting go.

      How many certification companies will exist? I don’t know, the market will dictate that.

      How badly will violators be punished? I don’t know the market will decide that. I do know a clear cheater gets his profile taken down. No profile means not AgriTrue. I do know a certifer will have to have a certifier and same deal for him.

      Simply put if you have any question my answer is going to be, we set the standard, the market sets the results.

      I will tell you this, in a open system run by the market there will be far less cheating and cheating will be far quicker caught and dealt with than the current organic system.

  25. @Jack,

    I don’t believe I’m failing to understand how a free market works at all. What I’m trying to point out to you, is that a free market REQUIRES that the consumer has an active role, and in this case, it seems that this active role requires the ability to make certain determinations about the product.

    The things you’re talking about setting standards for are NOT apparent to the average consumer. The average consumer, in the act of consuming is not going to be able to determine whether or not a product had pesticides, herbicides, etc used on it. They won’t be able to determine if it is GMO or not GMO. The average consumer cannot tell if the producer is depleting the soil or not.

    A consumer knows if their car breaks down, if a knife breaks under X-conditions, or if a Radio fails to perform its advertised function.

    The point is that if you’re depending on the Consumer being an active participant (providing free market punishment) they have to be able to make these determinations. Being told by the AgriTrue website this is the case is NOT consumer control. It is trusting that the organization is providing accurate verification. That’s what they do today with the USDA.

    In other words, the consumer is not an independent actor in this free market. You are assuming that a consumer of produce is going to have the means (time and money, and knowledge) to verify that a given producer is actually following the standard, not only at one point in time, but continually.

    The individual consumer only helps regulate a free market when they have the power to know what is or isn’t right or wrong with a product. If you have two Radios, most people will be able to tell when one works poorly and the other doesn’t. There is no doubt in my mind that someone eating two tomatoes could tell the difference in taste and texture, which may very well be related to its growing process, but I highly doubt they can discern whether or not the soil it was grown in had natural amendments or not. Similarly, how many people can tell by eating a steak whether or not the cow was given antibiotics.

    I’m not trying to nay-say your idea Jack. I LIKE your idea, but I think it is important to realize the limitations of what controls a Consumer can have knowing their capabilities to determine the differences between things that you are talking about setting standards for.

    This isn’t about trusting a government source more than AgriTrue, but that’s just me. Many people worship that authority. The government PROMISES (different than delivers of course) that they have “strict controls, and inspectors, blah, blah, blah that insure that Organic standards are met.” You and I might know that’s not worth a hill of beans and the things they allow are disgusting.

    You said” We set the Standard, the Market sets the result.” Yes, I get it–noble goal, and one I’d love to see achieved, but I’m trying to tell you that if your consumers cannot properly and independently make these determinations, they cannot properly function as a free market control. If you lose that, then the benefits of the free market are diminished. That’s what we have now–people that simply trust that the USDA is giving them something that’s safe, and healthy. They TRUST this because they have no means of making these determinations. They do not have labs and pesticide testing kits at their disposal.

    The point is how a consumer can be an effective free market force if they lack the ability to determine what they are actually eating is what someone says it is. It still comes down to a matter of trust. Do I trust you more than the USDA? You bet your life I do, but that’s not the point. A free market system can’t be only about who you trust more.

    The only free market control will come from whether or not the consumer is happy with what they are eating–but we (consumers) do not have the means to independently verify whether the tomato I ate was sprayed with pesticides or not.

    Anyway, I’m not writing this because its fun–I’m trying to point out an issue that I think could be a problem. If you don’t think it is, and I’m blowing it out of proportion, then thanks for your time reading. Take it for what its worth to you.

    • @KAM,

      In your own words, “I’m trying to point out to you, is that a free market REQUIRES that the consumer has an active role”

      THAT IS THE ENTIRE ANSWER DONE, the end. I have something to build here. I am going to one last time go beyond that for you, one last time.

      How do you know if corn is GMO or not even if the producer says so. You ask what variety it is, you are satisfied with the answer or not, you buy or you don’t.

      This is NOT a government style system, you struggle with it because that is what you compare it to. Can you 100% be sure that a producer under AgriTrue has no GMOs? No, you can’t be sure anyone is GMO free under anything, any system can be cheated, even Vegas casinos.

      But if you really care that much you will take the effort to assure yourself.

  26. @Jack,

    I appreciate your intent, but I understand the difference between a free market system and a government-interventionist system. The fact remains, a free market system cannot function properly without an expectation that there is no fraud or consequences for fraud.

    The rest I’ve already stated to the best of my ability and I trust you have taken those comments as they were intended, so I’ll just say best of luck for success.

    • @KAM I have answered your questions OVER AND OVER, rephrasing the question won’t get you a new answer if the question is still the same question. I really don’t know how the hell you can’t understand that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FRAUD FREE SYSTEM and THE SYSTEM DOES HAVE A CONSEQUENCE, loosing certification.

      Let me put it to you this way, if I thought the way you do there would be no TSP, there would have been no Franklin Spirko Media and Val Riazanov would still be a bouncer in Londen, I would have never had Donald Trump as a client by insulting him PUBLICLY on my old blog. Yes the Trump story is true, you can read it and the comments by Trump employees here Now what would you have told me if I told you I was going to get Trump as a client by insulting him on the internet? How many what ifs would you have given me. See I don’t sweat shit like this, I act, I adapt, I adjust and I build shit.

      May be I should create my own college, the “Jack Spirko Says Just Build Shit and Make It Work University”. The tuition is a hosting account and a domain name and having me tell you to stop planning and get working on something each day in my own unique asshole type of way.

      The reality is we DO NOT need to know exactly how things work before we build them and if we try to do that we won’t build a damn thing. Or what we do build won’t match the blueprint anyway.

      It is a simple system dude, I like you, you do challenge me at times and help me make things better but here you are just out of touch with reality. I am not worried about Joe or Jane blow that is too lazy to ask questions and learn, they are not gonna give a shit about what they eat anyway. Let them grow fat on “Organic” Kraft Mac and Cheese”. I am not concerned with fraud, cheaters will be caught and the system being one that uses community policing will get better at catching it over time.

      Again you want a system free of all fraud, that doesn’t exist, the Catholic Church isn’t free of fraud for Pete Sakes.

      You want a consequence for fraud when people are caught. I gave you one like a billion times now, you loose your certification. What would you prefer? Boiling in oil, tar and feather or 80 lashes with a wet noodle?

  27. @Jack,

    I’m not sure how to respond to this. You’ve devoted a lot of time to my posts here and I appreciate that. You seem to be taking from my posts that I’m nay saying or telling you “It can’t be done,” but that’s not my goal at all, and I think it CAN be done. I just saw a particular issue, which I tried my best to describe.

    Clearly you don’t agree that the issues I see are relevant, and maybe they aren’t. My focus on the fraud issue was based on the concern that the bad actions of one party can do an undue amount of damage to the credibility of the system. I think credibility is important to the success of your idea, so it just seemed to me protecting that was something worth discussing.

    Anyway, as I said–I hope you have great success with this.
    Maybe at a later date, I can contribute in a way you find more constructive.

    • @KAM you said,

      “bad actions of one party can do an undue amount of damage to the credibility of the system”

      For the love of all that is holy if I didn’t love and respect you I would be ready to throng you by now! NO, for the love of GOD NO! In any system there is going to be fraud, in AgriTrue the eyes of everyone in the community and everyone that buys from you are on you. If you cheat (and since you set your own strictest standards there is little motivation to do so) you get your ASS TOSSED OUT AND BANNED FROM THE SYSTEM.

      So the bad actions of one or a few in AgriTrue once found STRENGTHEN the system and its creditability.

      What do you think happens when a USDA certified organic producer is caught cheating, they don’t loose certification they get a write up, time to respond, a fine, eventually they fix the issue, then it happens again and again and again.

      Even with that the USDA Organic label is a resounding success. Many no longer value it but it carries a lot of weight. A free market system with swift responses will have far more creditability.

  28. @Jack,

    I keep thinking I’m backing off, but now I’ve enraged you so much, that you want to throttle me! 🙂

    Sorry, sorry, sorry. I’ve tried (unsuccessfully again) to back out of this particular discussion. I’ll try again.

    I get what you’re saying–it’s your deal, you know what you’re doing, and I respect your judgement, and I’m not looking to “Challenge” you on this point any further.

    I didn’t mean to upset you…that being said, I did have an unrelated question on the other thread…*runs sheepishly*

    Sincerely–I’m sorry if I’ve distracted you from more important things.

    • @KAM please remember that text is the lowest form or communication known to man, humor and joshing doesn’t always come through along with legitimate points.

      FTR though, what I said was,

      “For the love of all that is holy if I didn’t love and respect you I would be ready to throng you by now!”

      Throng not throttle and the word WOULD is in there, ;>) Along with love and respect.

  29. @Jack,
    just finished listening to the part of the show where the police shut down the little girls lemon aid stand and I agree with this being BS. But it made me think of the Verizon commercial about “Susie’s” lemon aid stand. Did not see the police shutting that one down and look where it ended up. Reminds me of some of the great garage/apartment start up companies

  30. Everyone should get their ducks now, before these regs are enforced and word gets out. Just make sure that you have their shelter ready prior to purchase. Keep things on the down low and check out local breeders and chicken swaps. Don’t leave a paper trail!

    Contrary to popular belief, Muscovies don’t need a pond, or even a kiddie pool. They just need a container deep enough to submerge their nostrils. They do like to guzzle water and slosh it around.

    Most laws have the opposite effect of what they are passed to do, but for an agency to actively eradicate these fine animals under the guise of a treaty that was supposed to protect them is really fowled up!

  31. I was checking out that “bud nip” stuff in the sweet potato video and found a great website that gives average levels of pesticides found on commonly found conventional and organic foods. Lots of great info to hopefully light a fire under those who think the problem isn’t a big deal.

    • Rob – Great site with tons of info. I just had to share the video on my blog, children have a great way of putting things into perspective sometimes!
      I made sure to include a link to the site you shared, I wish more people were better informed, but I guess that’s what we’re all here for!

  32. Thanks for putting the word out about that conference, and thanks to the Deputy for reporting back. That is a great example of how the Police and citizens can work together to preserve our liberty. The favorite tactic of the SPLC is to conflate peaceful, patriotic organizations with actual hate groups. That makes the SPLC a hate group, in my book. Keep shining the light on the SPLC, Jack! I hope Dees and Potok never get a good night’s sleep.

  33. Jack,

    You mentioned that Obama has spent 32% of the nations debt… and bush only spent 20% or so? I wanted to post that on facebook, but couldn’t find the data. I did find wikipedia, and it didn’t seem to agree with what you said. It appears as through Bush doubled the debt and Obama has increased it by about 32%.
    Here’s the link:

    (Maybe I misunderstood what you said?)
    Thanks and love the show!

    • @CountryRoots,

      No not the debt the total money spent EVER. Much of his spending isn’t yet on the books as debt because it is spent in the future. Such as Obamacare, none of the real spending on that happens until 2013.

      The total future spending of Obama takes us from a 14 trillion dollar deficit now to a 20 trillion dollar deficit by 2020.

      When you hear the politicians and the TV heads say,

      “Raising the debt ceiling is to pay on obligations we already have not to increase spending”

      That is what they mean. You know me, I have to go back to about Andy Jackson to defend any president’s actions so this ain’t to make W look good or anything.

  34. Where I am farming, the rent will not make the land payment. The investor is looking at a long term investment. As a farmer, I need to rent land because I can’t afford the land payment. So what a farmer can pay to rent the land somewhat limits the value of the land. Farmers have little control over the price they get for their products, so if the land cost gets too high, farmers drop out and the price of food goes up and the remaining farmers can then afford the land. That is why the middle sized farmers are getting squeezed out of business. In South Dakota, general corporations can not own farm land, only family corporations and non profits. This helps limit the problem, but it still is an issue. I’m trying to buy land as fast as I can because the prices are skyrocketing.

  35. Older used farm land can be used without issue after about 2-3 years. All the pesticides will be broken down by then. Replanted into grass will accelerate the breakdown. The best way is to test the soil in multiple locations to determine the level of pesticides. As for nutrients, a couple of years of proper grass growing will do wonders for rebuilding the soil. Even better is to set up cell grazing of livestock to accelerate the growth of the grass. Grazing helps inject organic matter into the soil because the grass is forced to sever its roots and rebuild them which naturally introduces organic matter into the soil. Another thing people don’t know is that grass injects 1/3 of its glucose production into the soil around its roots to feed the soil bacteria so they can break down the organic material in the soil to make more nutrients for the grass. This is the action that helps break down the chemicals in the soil.

    • @Mark I think that is mostly true. True enough that I wouldn’t not buy older farm land. But some products such as round up persist in the environment for a LOT longer than claimed.

      Roundup can be consumed by a cow, said manure composted at high temps and still effect the growth of legumes in said compost. Additionally some fertilizers contain heavy metals, in small amounts they are not a huge concern but if the land is heavily fertilized for years or decades many of those can persist long term. There has been some work done with certain plants that remove these very well though, the one particular grass that does this is just slipped from my mind though, if I remember it later I will post some links about its use.

  36. When I was a kid, one of the kids in the neighborhood made lemonade with creek water and made several people sick. I have to side with the sheriff on this one. The city needs to make an exception to the law for such things that includes standards and requires adult supervision and possibly some simple training for the kids so they understand the health issues. You can either get upset by this, or turn it around and make it something constructive.

    • @Mark, the LEO in this story is a complete fucktard! I can’t understand how anyone can defend his actions. I really don’t care what happened “one time”, one time as in every day someone dies in a car despite airbags, seat belts, etc. Should we get rid of cars?

      Those who sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither.

    • @ Modern Survival:
      The Leo may have been a complete and utter waste of earthly resources, but in society today (This gets into some philosophy here) there are the relativists and there are those who believe in ultimate truth… and there are a few in between who believe what is convenient at the moment. The relativists say “do whatever is right for you.” Those who believe in ultimate truth claim that there is a right and wrong that applies to everybody… like don’t murder me. (There is a difference between murder and kill)

      I believe in right and wrong (some situations it’s not clear and it requires a lot of study and thought… and I could still come to the wrong conclusion). I believe laws such as don’t murder are good. Now the way that that law is enforced is the problem. Ranging from the movie Minority Report to thought police is a bad way to take are of it. If those little girls had some evil parents who slipped something into the water, that would be bad as well.

      I don’t like any of what happened either, but like the game warden that everybody up north seems to hate, he’s just enforcing the laws that exist.

      The laws need to change…