Published Jan 22, 2010

India, Gandhi, and PFI?

By Luke Gran
Hi there followers of Practical Farmers of Iowa,

All this ice, snow, rain, and clouds have given me a great opportunity to dive into good reading materials.

In a recent issue of “Yes! Magazine” there was a fascinating article with Vandana Shiva, farmer, seed activist, thinker, and physicist from India.

In it, Shiva responds to the question of the relevance of Gandhi to the India of 2010. Some say that Gandhi is irrelevant in a world of terror, but Vandana had some really thought provoking things to share. I thought I would give a run-down of the Gandhi wisdom and how PFI is working towards that.

Bija Swaraj (Seed Self-Rule)
Thru the United States Testing Network PFI is working together with many plant breeders to put more choice in the marketplace for seed so farmers can choose high quality non-GMO genetics to plant for their farms.

Satyagraha (find truth)
PFI works to find truth in agriculture thru on-farm research and demonstration and by sharing that knowledge for free with other farmers.

Swadeshi (self-making)

Many in PFI wish to find ways to live in the world that buys more local, and regional products, putting money into the pockets of farmers in their communities. Our non-farmer members help support local businesses, local farmer entrepreneurs.

Ahimsa (non-violence in the deepest form)
Our PFI Policy group engages in dialogue with policy-makers across the nation to direct prudent policy for Iowa farmers. We don’t use negative campaigning, we don’t label individual practices as good or bad.

Sarvodaya (Lifting up everyone)
PFI is an organization that doesn’t just focus on one type of enterprise, not just one type of farmer. We are diverse and believe that the success of a farm organization lies in diversity itself. Everyone is better off by having more ideas to share and think about.

Read the whole article here:

Things at PFI Next Generation are going well, we are looking forward to next Tuesday January 26, 2010 for the first of 4 consecutive online seminars (“Farminars”) at 7:00-8:30 PM C.S.T. for more information, go to