Written by Divya Babbula, Summer 2015 Food & Farm Intern in August 2015. Originally published August 2015, updated December 4, 2015.
In June 2015, MCE’s Food and Farm Coordinator Melissa Vatterott, Clean Water Policy Coordinator Alicia Lloyd, and their respective interns, Divya Babbula and Shuangyu (Sharon) Zhang made a trip to Columbia, MO to network and expand our connections. We met with Margot McMillen and Shirley Kidwell who gave us a tour of Terra Bella farms. It was an exciting opportunity to see a family farm up close, and learn about the dedication and hard work they put into providing healthy, local produce to the community. Recently, Terra Bella Farms was interviewed for an NPR article about the effects of pesticide drift on organic farms.
Margot and Shirley also drove us around the surrounding areas to see the proposed site of a new CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation). In their personal fight against CAFOs, they are a part of Friends of Responsible Agriculture (FOR AG). FOR AG is a 501(c)3 organization of concerned residents of Callaway County, Missouri dedicated to educating the public about the consequences of CAFOs and building citizen opposition to the construction and operation of a large-scale hog confinement facility in Callaway County. To read more about the problems surrounding CAFOs, click here.