Conversations with a Founder: The Didactron

In writing Hats Off for the Skilled Land Force, I was still uncertain of just how far Rural System proposes to go in aiding employees. But once again, demonstrating values that go far beyond mere profit, Dr. Giles proposes to make Land Force personnel more employable by providing educational opportunities.

I was sitting across the table from him in Our Daily Bread, a nice cafe in Blacksburg, VA, lamenting at some of the problems with the education system in the U.S.

Me: You’d think that education would be about preparing students to become competent, skilled, critically thinking professionals in their field of interest. Instead people are forced to learn a smattering of gen. eds. in high school that only, well, generally prepare them for college and not much else. the_didactron

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Organic vs Conventional Farming or is There Another Option?

The use of chemical pesticides, growth enhancers, and synthetic chemical processors in agriculture has created a highly polarized industry of either organic or non-organic foods. Organic farming means that crops are grown with limited synthetic additives and are not subjected to non-natural chemicals for processing. Advocates of organically grown foods argue there are human health benefits as well as overarching environmental benefits for consuming only organic foods. The criticisms of non-organic farming practices, often referred to as conventional or industrial agriculture, are well known.  [Read more…]

Interpreting Ishmael: It All Boils Down to Land Use

Ishmael by Daniel QuinnTo some, Ishmael might be the Silent Spring of our generation.

The novel by Daniel Quinn is indeed philosophical but it has real world implications to those who study, or have interest in, how we manage our environment. While reviewers hotly contest whether the book is well-written, the thought-provoking nature of Ishmael is undeniable. [Read more…]