Thursday, January 21, 2010

Earthquake Relief Fund

The Cooperative Development Foundation's (CDF) Cooperative Emergency Fund is accepting donations for Haiti recovery. Donations will be used to help cooperatives and cooperators affected by the earthquake to rebuild their facilities and their lives. CDF is working with ACDI/VOCA and the NRECA International Foundation, who run cooperative development programs in Haiti, to send volunteer cooperators to help in this effort. CDF does not take any fee or charge any overhead for any use of its Emergency Fund, so every cent donated will go toward helping cooperatives and cooperators affected by the earthquake.

Donations made through Google checkout will not be assessed any processing fee due to a grant received from Google.

CDF has received and distributed over $275,000 for cooperative relief and recovery for disasters including the 1997 flooding in North Dakota, the 1998 Kenyan embassy bombing, the 2001 earthquake in El Salvador, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. If you would like to contribute on-line, please go to If you would like to contribute by check, please make it payable to Cooperative Development Foundation, note that it is for Haiti, and send it to:

Cooperative Development Foundation

2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 800

Arlington, VA 22202

If you have any questions, please contact Steve Thomas, CDF's Executive Director, at (703) 302-8093 or

Friday, January 8, 2010

States Ban Practices that Support CAFOs

Several states recently banned specific practices that are common in CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations), taking small steps to level the playing field for more sustainable farms. California outlawed the amputation of dairy cows' tails, and Michigan passed a law phasing out restrictive crates for veal calves and pregnant sows, and tiny "battery" cages for egg-laying chickens, used to pack many animals together in a small space. Arizona, California, Florida, Maine, Colorado, and Oregon had previously acted to ban crates and battery cages, which, along with tail docking, are unnecessary practices that serve only to make large, polluting CAFOs viable. Meanwhile, examples abound of farmers successfully working with nature rather than against it to produce animal products without the problems associated with CAFOs. Listen to this recent National Public Radio story about one Ohio dairyman's efforts to transform the industry and produce fresher, more flavorful milk from cows on pasture.