Dr Sarah Taber Profile picture
Crop scientist, ex-farmworker, industrial safety pro. She/her. Book on the way: https://t.co/INrNiMyml9
a king on a throne with his eyes torn out Profile picture 🇺🇦☘️Mike McGraw🇨🇦🇺🇦 Profile picture eDo Profile picture Tom Parker Profile picture KimSia Sim 🇸🇬💻📗 Profile picture 9 added to My Authors
Oct 9, 2018 11 tweets 2 min read
Fun fact you learn after working in ag for a while: family farms run by a man who's really into conservatism, rape culture, racism, and hating women are *the most likely to fail.* There appear to be lots of reasons for this.

#1, running any business takes a basic level of empathy. You have to put yourself in customer's shoes enough to figure out what they want & give it to them.

Rape culture & racism teach you how to NOT put yourself in ppl's shoes.
Oct 8, 2018 10 tweets 2 min read
This is interesting. This account fairly likely to be a bot- number salad after the name, interactions w other bot accounts, & a 50/50 mix of folksy farm observations & Russian talking points. Usually when I post on political topics, it draws some bot fire. Brett Kavanaugh & removal of UNC's confederate memorial got especially botty.
Oct 7, 2018 10 tweets 2 min read
You guys I want to tell you the story of a #Resistance wedding.

No pics of the wedding itself bc of reasons that will soon become clear, so lemme paint you a picture. Bride & groom both heavily involved in Indivisible, and there's an election in a month. So they went with a straightforward courthouse wedding.
Oct 6, 2018 10 tweets 2 min read
A buddy was handing out some apples he got from a little farm stand up in the mountains.

These local farm-fresh apples were uhhhhh coated in fungicide. They had a light powdery coating, which *can* be innocuous- often it's just dust from the field, or an inert clay like Surround (works as a sunscreen to keep apples from getting sun scald on the tree, and repels bugs too).
Oct 5, 2018 11 tweets 3 min read
This morning #ICalledMyReps and they wouldn't pick up.

Thom Tillis has several offices in NC.

All of their phones are shut down. There's a "we just help with hurricane Florence stuff! Stay safe!" message & no way to leave a voicemail. Which is funny, bc they were answering their phones when I called to them last week. They weren't "shut down for a hurricane that ended weeks ago" back then.
Oct 2, 2018 10 tweets 4 min read
YUP

One of the farmers straight-up told @RyanLizza "if they were legal we'd have to pay them more."

If you're confused on why farmers keep voting for bad immigration policy (even though they swear they "don't agree,") that's it right there. To your face they'll say oh, it's just so terrible that ICE is doing raids!

But if it weren't for threat of deportation, farmworkers would actually be able to fight for higher pay.

Deep down, farmers know this. If you watch what they DO, instead of what they say, that's clear.
Oct 1, 2018 22 tweets 4 min read
I do a lot of food safety audits. That means rolling up to farms w clipboard in hand.

Farmers get real annoyed when people w clipboards annoying.

But their workers get TERRIFIED.

That's in a good year when there aren't ICE purges. This year is different. A big part of food safety audits is talking to the folks picking & handling the food. We have to confirm that the farm's done the basic due diligence like communicating when & how to wash hands *in the right language,*" etc.
Oct 1, 2018 17 tweets 5 min read
Ok so time to dish on Appalachia. The last month's been a lot of truckin around in the hills, taking very nervous family farms through the first food safety audit.

And you know what? THEY DID FINE For all the mythos surrounding West Virginia, you don't really hear about their orchards.

You hear a lot about the mountains being rocky, hilly, & "bad for farming," which, false.

They're bad for farming GRAIN. And actually pretty great at most other things.
Sep 8, 2018 13 tweets 3 min read
Threading some replies for better readability. (@Noahpinion) "Famers of Forty Centuries" is a great source that gets into more detail on how traditional east Asian rice culture worked. tl;dr, it was a sophisticated human system closely adapted to its environment over millennia- including social systems of credit & investment.
Sep 3, 2018 12 tweets 3 min read
Have run audits on 100's of orchards. The *one* farm out of all of them that managed to deal w pest birds the cheap way by putting up kestrel boxes?

Also had a rock-solid relationship. It really set them apart from a lot of their neighbors. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ A lot of mom & pop farms put on this weird Gender Theater act during food safety checks. The audit starts out with the wife being super deferential to the husband, but it's clear he has no idea about any of the farm recordkeeping and she's doing all of it.
Aug 31, 2018 8 tweets 2 min read
If you want answers on making better farm jobs, check out @zeynepton's book "The Good Jobs Strategy."

google.com/search?ei=HD2J… The book focuses on low-cost retail bc like ag, it's also a job category that everyone assumes has to be basement wages w/o benefits. However there are low-cost retail co's out there that actually treat workers well (Costco, QuikTrip).
Aug 30, 2018 11 tweets 2 min read
Thought it would be fun to read this here local magazine about local food but no, it's like a catalogue of fecklessness. This magazine issue has everything!

Chefs "foraging for ingredients," which is what they call selling off wild vegetation when it's gentrified
Aug 29, 2018 13 tweets 3 min read
This. Things were so rough during grad school that I got dangerously underweight... while studying agriculture. It led to some bizarre situations. Most of my studies were on mainstream ag-type stuff, but I got as much training on sustainable ag as I could.

In contrast to rest of ag school, these courses were full of well-groomed children of the upper middle class.
Aug 29, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Guys I'm reading @CC_Rosenthal's book & going wild bc the plantation records she worked with are almost identical* to how farm recordkeeping is still done today. It's a trippy experience to read this book if you audit farm records for a living. *minus the inventory sheets of human property

This is more a comment on the state of agricultural IT than on labor practices, which vary widely & would make a better 3-volume book that Twitter thread
Aug 27, 2018 29 tweets 8 min read
what the heck let's do a draft horse thread

This thicc boy is a Brabant, same really cool blue roan coloring as the Ardennes horse from earlier. Before about the 1940s, the Brabant & the (US) Belgian were the same breed. But after that they diverged. In Europe they bred them to be ... uh ... meatier. Like literally shorter & blocky because after WW2, the main reason to raise draft horses in Europe was for meat.
Aug 25, 2018 22 tweets 5 min read
Every time more news breaks on Tesla Last time I talked about Tesla (July '18), it was because Cal-OSHA had launched an investigation into the company.

Aug 23, 2018 10 tweets 3 min read
Ugh local "economic development associations" are the biggest crock of bullshit.

Just gonna point out, as a business owner, that folks who actually know how to "grow business" don't take jobs at nonprofits. n.b. This is re: North Carolina "economic development nonprofits" filing letters to FERC asking for more pipelines, please.

These "business orgs" are social clubs for bored realtors. But they think they're qualified to give out policy advice on manufacturing.

#NoMVP #NoACP
Aug 21, 2018 6 tweets 1 min read
For all the folks wishing Silent Sam had been taken down "in peaceful dialogue" instead of a night mob, it's time to get read up on the realities of North Carolina politics. The NC state legislature has:

• Criminalized any removal Confederate statues- *including orderly removal processes driven by local votes.*

• Gerrymandered itself a veto-proof majority

• Threatened to impeach state supreme court judges who disagree w them
Aug 20, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
Yeah this is why I'm such a stick in the mud about how "luxury goods don't really count." They're expensive enough that they can travel through 300 middlemen. That's WHY jewelry etc were the only things still moving to/from Europe in the middle ages. Grain shipments from Egypt to Europe? The global olive oil trade? wine? pottery? textiles? That was stuff that had to be shipped pretty directly from where it was made to where it was actually used; wasn't valuable enough to support a bajillion middlemen along the way.
Aug 19, 2018 13 tweets 3 min read
You guys this article by @miriamkp is a GREAT intro to the human systems challenges that face supply chains. No, bitcoin can't fix it. I think it's really telling that in a world full of certifications & new hotness traceability tech,

the most effective labor protection tool I've ever seen is the Coalition of Immokalee Workers @ciw.

The reasons for CIW's effectiveness are deeply rooted in human systems.
Aug 19, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
In other news, this happened: the 2nd to last county in NC to ban school paddlings, finally banned school paddlings

but not without some interesting demographic notes

cw anti-native racism

fayobserver.com/opinion/201808… For context, Robeson County NC has the biggest Native population east of the Mississippi River. There's a lot of Dank Southern History & other issues that have prevented many SE Native groups from being federally recognized, but everyone down here knows the Lumbee anyway.