If I Had a Trillion Dollars youth lobbying in Washington, D.C.
This is a guest post by Erin Polley, AFSC Program Coordinator of the Indiana Peacebuilding Program and the “If I Had a Trillion Dollars” Youth Film Festival. Submissions are now being accepted for films created by youth which explore how they would allocate the money that has been spent on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq differently. - Lucy
Don Bustos, Program Director for AFSC in New Mexico.
by Lucy Duncan
In August I spent a day in New Mexico, visiting AFSC’s farmer training program near Albuquerque.
I met the trainees, hearing from AFSC’s Sayrah Namaste about elements of the program and upcoming plans to expand state-wide, funded in large part by the Kellogg Foundation. I finished the day by talking with program director Don Bustos at his farm near Espanola.
Lucy Duncan (LD): Tell me the history of this farm and its relationship to the AFSC New Mexico program.
Don Bustos (DB): The name of our farm is Santa Cruz Farm, after our church the Santa Cruz Church, and then the Santa Cruz de la Canada Land Grant. I still farm the same land my ancestors farmed over 300 years ago and as you walk outside, you'll see the same land, the same crops, and the same methods that my ancestors used. That's the knowledge we pass on to the trainees.
Lucy Duncan (LD): At some point you were using pesticides, and you stopped.
Don Bustos (DB): That's how our farm moved from conventional growing to certified organic. In the 1960s I was still a young lad, we were still farming naturally.
Then in 1967 an agricultural agent came by and gave my dad a bottle of liquid. I learned later that it was DDT. He mixed it with water. That year we had perfect corn, none of our corn had worms, we had a great crop. So my dad started to use it. That was the late 1960s until I started to take over in the late 70s and mid 80s. There was a period where my dad would use chemical fertilizers and insecticides, all approved by USDA and encouraged to be used.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
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AFSC has office around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.