Is about its organic farms, right? Well, that’s what I am here to report. I’m in Woodbury County, Iowa, learning about their local food purchasing policy and the tax credit to help farmers convert to organic. This is what I can say about Iowa right now: everyone I have met here is totally awesome.¬†Go Iowa!



Here is a little early Christmas gift from me to you: a FREE calendar with full color photos of adorable POULTRY, along with useful tips to help you understand their woes and protect them from disease. I can see your excitement already.

Now, I love poultry. This might be because I lived with a large, fuzzy, red a**-kickin’ chicken my senior year of college. Or perhaps due to the delicious eggs I admire from the hens from my friend’s dad’s backyard in Maryland. But my poultry-admiration probably dates back further than that, to my childhood, when my grandmother told me stories of her pet chicken, “Baby,” who would allegedly come at the sound of my grandma’s voice and chat with her. “Here baby, baby, baby.” I think maybe they sang together? I’m a little fuzzy on the details. I think my grandmother was too.

I would really like to be a “backyard poultry owner” myself. Just think of it — a couple of hens behind my house in the ‘hood and some daily fresh eggs. However, I am almost certain the Nutcracker-esque humongous DC rats that we see in the alley would kill a pet chicken in no time. There would be no time for the birds to contract the avian diseases the government wants me to protect them against.

So, for now I must just satisfy myself with poultry paraphernalia from the USDA. Yeah, you just wish you received awesome emails like this at your job:

“As part of its ongoing efforts to educate backyard poultry owners about what they can do to protect their birds against infectious poultry diseases such as avian influenza (AI), the U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering free and informative calendars for 2008. These calendars, which feature full-color photos of poultry and other birds each month, contain useful information about protecting poultry from AI and include tips on what to do should poultry owners suspect that their birds are infected.

We would greatly appreciate it if you would inform your readers/audience about the availability of these calendars. Those interested in receiving this free calendar can go here and click ‘2008 Backyard Biosecurity Calendar.'”

Don’t let those chickens get sick — get yourself a calendar.